The Villages - August 2021 - 25

Q:
Dr. Robert Herman
What is your role with The
Villages Health, and what is
your background before coming
here to The Villages?
I am a clinical cardiologist with
extensive experience evaluating
cardiac
disease in adults. This includes coronary
artery disease, valvular heart disease,
congestive heart failure, peripheral artery disease and rhythm
disturbances. In addition, I insert pacemakers and defibrillators in
patients with heart rhythm problems.
My cardiology career began in the U.S. Air Force where I practiced
for nine years and had the good fortune to train at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center and then become a staff member and assistant
professor at Wilford Hall Medical Center. I then entered private
practice in cardiology for several years prior to becoming a staff
physician at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas
before coming to The Villages.
Q:
Q:
First off, what are the health benefits of
maintaining good cardiovascular health,
especially as we age?
Cardiovascular health refers to maintaining the health of the heart
and blood vessels to allow an individual to live a full life and avoid
future cardiac disability. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause
of premature death in the United States. Good cardiovascular health
allows many Villagers to live with good health into their 80s and 90s.
Have there been any new breakthroughs or
recent trends you've noticed in the field of
cardiovascular health?
Multiple advances in cardiovascular health have occurred over the
last several decades. Identification of cardiovascular risk with the
use of calcium scoring has been added to the standard risk factors
of hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and family history to
more accurately predict the risk of coronary disease. This test allows
us to better identify those individuals who will most benefit from
control of coronary risk factors.
Coronary CT scans can now be used to evaluate patients for coronary
obstructions due to increased resolution of images. Greater use of
safer oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) in individuals with atrial
fibrillation (AFib) to prevent strokes is now occurring. Increasing
use of techniques to replace the aortic valve without major surgery
is now established care for many older patients. A larger role for
wearable devices for identification of rhythm disturbances is also now
occurring.
The ability to optimally treat patients with elevated cholesterol has
improved. The mainstay of treatment has been statin drugs. New
drugs for cholesterol, although still expensive, are now available and
enable us to dramatically reduce cholesterol to optimal levels and to
reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
Q:
Losing weight, getting more
exercise or changing a diet
can seem like a daunting task. How
can someone adjust or make smaller
goals to achieve a larger result?
Losing weight and maintaining an ideal
weight has always been difficult for
individuals, and fad diets have done little to
improve the long-term success rate. One must
be ready to alter their usual diet and increase
exercise activity as a lifelong goal. This means
decreasing your caloric intake and burning
more calories with exercise. This requires
careful review of your caloric intake and, if
possible, increasing your daily exercise. Once
your diet and exercise are adjusted to allow
weight loss you need to continue a diet that
will maintain lifelong weight stabilization.
Crash diets
to
lose weight
followed by a
return to one's usual habits will ultimately be
unsuccessful. I ask patients to continuously
read labels on products and avoid fried and
processed foods, desserts, gravies, dressings,
and high intake of fats.
MAGAZINE
25
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The Villages - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - August 2021

Contents
The Villages - August 2021 - Cover1
The Villages - August 2021 - Contents
The Villages - August 2021 - 1
The Villages - August 2021 - 2
The Villages - August 2021 - 3
The Villages - August 2021 - 4
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The Villages - August 2021 - Cover3
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