July 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Heart Month Q&A With a Cardiologist

(Courtesy of SMGH) Today we have an interview1 with Dr. Stanley Szwed, chief of cardiovascular services at St. Mary’s General Hospital. The interview was in answer to the many questions from people concerned about heart disease.

How does stress impact my heart health?

Stress usually increases the adrenaline in your body, which in turn can increase heart rhythm abnormalities and can increase spasmodic coronary arteries causing your chest pain.

How can I reduce my stress levels?

It is difficult these days to reduce our stress. However, some techniques may be helpful including increasing walking, Yoga, deep breathing exercises, meditation—ways of relaxing to try to get to that zen place where you are on a beach somewhere listening to music. These techniques may be helpful in reducing stress levels.

Will I have heart issues if someone in my family has them?

Many people ask if their family history is important for heart disease. If you have a brother or sister or one of your parents who has heart issues like high blood pressure, heart attack or heart muscle problems, or high cholesterol or diabetes, you definitely should be evaluated and contact your physician.

How can I overcome my family’s risk factors?

Although we cannot change our genetics, there are certain measures that we can take. Stop or avoid smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, eat a low cholesterol diet, take daily walks, and schedule regular checkups with your doctor/cardiologist. All of this will be helpful in reducing chances for a cardiac event in the near future.

How does winter impact my heart health?

Many doctors are concerned during the winter months because of snowfall—not because of the snow—but that patients with heart disease will overexert themselves shoveling snow and then present themselves in the emergency room with a snow-shovel coronary.

How can I stay heart-healthy during the winter?

It is important to stay hydrated, to increase exercise, perhaps walking in a mall where it is temperature controlled and easier to get your walks in. Dressing in multiple layers to keep warm is also very smart. Many times, our ears, hands and feet are at risk for frostbite, so wearing a hat and scarf is very smart.

Meet the Doctor

Stanley A. Szwed, MD, has over 40 years of experience in the medical field and has more experience with cardiac electrical system procedures than other specialist in his area. He prides himself in providing the highest quality medical and cardiovascular care possible to all patients. By treating the person, not just the symptoms, his team works hard to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who comes through their door. “We are proud to state that our patients are our best referrals.” And his referral rate on Healthgrades is 4.1 stars.

Happy Heart Month From St. Mary’s General Hospital!

Cardiac Services

The comprehensive cardiac services at St. Mary’s General Hospital2 is an award-winning care program specializing in invasive as well as non-invasive procedures, cardiovascular surgery, cardiac catheterizations with state-of-the-art imaging systems, electrophysiology services and more. The program pioneered the first successful open-heart surgery in the State, and continues to garner national accolades receiving 2021 Healthgrades 5 Star Recognition for Treatment of Heart Failure, and Coronary Interventional Procedures, as well as the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. The American Heart Association recognized the program with the STEMI: Silver Plus, and Target: Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll recognition.

St. Mary’s General Hospital—nationally recognized, locally preferred—among the top hospitals in America for health, quality, and patient safety. A center of excellence for maternal-child, the hospital has over 550 physicians and 1,200 employees, with every staff member committed to providing respectful, personalized, high-quality care—to satisfy patients’ needs and exceed their expectations. St. Mary’s General is a proud member of Prime Healthcare, which has more Patient Safety Excellence Award recipients for five consecutive years (2016-2020) than any other health system in the country, including a Top 15 Healthcare System by Truven Health Analytics. To learn more about St. Mary’s General Hospital, visit https://www.smh-nj.com/ or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral.

For more information, please contact George Matyjewicz, PhD, community liaison at [email protected]

1 A video of this interview is available here: https://www.facebook.com/StMarysGeneral/videos/1134250123977451

2 https://www.smh-nj.com/our-services/cardiac-services

 

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