Tag Archives: american heart association

Wear Red for American Heart Month

February is not only the month to think about heart-shaped cards for your Valentine, it’s the time to reflect on your own heart health as it is American Heart Month.

Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack and around 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year – that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths, making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women. Cardiovascular disease takes a massive financial toll too as it costs the United States an estimated $312.6 billion each year.

Since 1963, February has been celebrated as American Heart Month to urge Americans to join the battle against heart disease and since 2004, February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign and the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem.

As part of American Heart Month, Vasomedical is working with the International EECP Therapists Association (IETA) and the International EECP Society (IEECPS)  to promote and support EECP Therapy Week, to take place the last week in February (events to be announced).

To learn more about EECP Therapy Week or American Heart Month and how you can participate feel free to contact us at vaso@kcsa.com .


Group picture of world EECP experts

Tales from the Road: Vasomedical Visits China for Great Wall Conference

Our latest adventure took us to Beijing for the 24th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology Asia Pacific Heart Congress 2013 – which was a full house!

The conference hosted more than 13,000 attendees from all over the world.  Not only were we pleased to participate at the conference as a whole, but during the big event, the 3rd International Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) Symposium was held.

The day was jam packed with the world’s leading experts sharing their research on EECP Therapy. The Symposium started off with a presentation from Dr. Richard Conti, the former President of the American College of Cardiology, followed by Dr. Ozlem Soran, Dr. William Lawson and Dr. Greg Barsness among many others.

One of the biggest stories to come out of this was the launch of the International EECP Society (IEECPS).  The Society will bring together physicians, researchers and other professionals involved in the study, research, application and provision of EECP Therapy. Dr. William E. Lawson, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Stony Brook University, New York, USA was elected as the Society’s first president and Dr. Guifu Wu, President and Director of the Fourth People’s Hospital of Shenzhen, China was elected as Vice President of the Society.

The 3rd EECP Symposium wrapped up the day’s events with a dinner, MC’d by Ning Xin, a noted sports anchor for CCTV in Beijing. The dinner started with the official launch of IEECPS, which prompted many cardiologists to sign up as members on the spot.

As for entertainment, there were five impersonators, who looked and sounded like China’s former government leaders. Each presented a speech in the respective leader’s style of speaking, to motivate people to be conscious of their heart health and talked about the benefits of EECP Therapy.

What Great Wall meeting would be complete without an actual visit to the Great Wall? An impromptu gathering of physicians, friends and family got together on the day after the meeting and took a day trip to Badaling, one of the Great Wall sites where visitors can climb the winding and challenging wall to its highest points.

It was a fun, successful event. We at Vasomedical are really excited that there is an official community of EECP Therapy advocates coming together to advance awareness and greater acceptance of this great treatment.

Walking a dog

In the News: Owning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk

Today, The New York Times published an article titled “Owning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk.” In the piece, Anahad O’Connor discusses the various reasons why people who own dogs generally have lower risks for heart disease.

The American Heart Association reviewed dozens of studies on the cardiovascular benefits of owning a pet. Pet owners –dog owners in particular –can form such close bonds with their pets that they can experience a reduction in the body’s reaction to stress, which will help decrease one’s heart rate and blood pressure, when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present. People who own dogs also tend to exercise more with their pets and have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

This article is another example of the importance of exploring alternative approaches to reducing risk factors for heart disease, in addition to the traditional methods of natural risk reduction, such as maintaining a healthy diet and regularly exercising.

You can read the full New York Times article below.

Tell us: Do you exercise with your dog or other pet? Do you find stress levels to be lower while interacting with your pet? Let us know in your comments!

New York Times

Owning a Dog Is Linked to Reduced Heart Risk


MAY 9, 2013, 5:26 PM

The nation’s largest cardiovascular health organization has a new message for Americans: Owning a dog may protect you from heart disease.

The unusual message was contained in a scientific statement published on Thursday by the American Heart Association, which convened a panel of experts to review years of data on the cardiovascular benefits of owning a pet. The group concluded that owning a dog, in particular, was “probably associated” with a reduced risk of heart disease.

People who own dogs certainly have more reason to get outside and take walks, and studies show that most owners form such close bonds with their pets that being in their presence blunts the owners’ reactions to stress and lowers their heart rate, said Dr. Glenn N. Levine, the head of the committee that wrote the statement.

But most of the evidence is observational, which makes it impossible to rule out the prospect that people who are healthier and more active in the first place are simply more likely to bring a dog or cat into their home.

“We didn’t want to make this too strong of a statement,” said Dr. Levine, a professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. “But there are plausible psychological, sociological and physiological reasons to believe that pet ownership might actually have a causal role in decreasing cardiovascular risk.”

Nationwide, Americans keep roughly 70 million dogs and 74 million cats as pets.

The heart association publishes about three scientific statements each month, typically on more technical matters, but the group was prompted to take a stance on the pet issue by the growing number of news reports and medical studies linking pet ownership to better health.

Dr. Levine noted that the more traditional methods of risk reduction for heart disease had proven effective, and that now was a good time to investigate alternative approaches. “We felt this was something that had reached the point where it would be reasonable to formally investigate,” he said.

Dr. Richard Krasuski, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, viewed the new statement as an indictment of societal attitudes toward exercise.

“Very few people are meeting their exercise goals,” he said. “In an ideal society, where people are actually listening to physician recommendations, you wouldn’t need pets to drag people outside.”

The new report reviewed dozens of studies, and over all it seemed clear that pet owners, especially those with dogs, the focus of most of the studies, were in better health than people without pets.

“Several studies showed that dogs decreased the body’s reaction to stress, with a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline-like hormone release when a pet is present as opposed to when a pet is not present,” Dr. Levine said.

Pet owners also tended to report greater amounts of physical activity, and modestly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some research showed that people who had pets of any kind were also more likely to survive heart attacks.

In one of the only randomized controlled studies included in the report, 48 stressed stockbrokers with hypertension were put on medication that lowered their blood pressure, and then researchers divided them into groups. Those in one group were told to adopt a dog or cat. Six months later, the researchers found that when the stockbrokers who had adopted pets were around their new companions, they were markedly calmer in the face of stressful events than the stockbrokers without pets.

But nearly all of the other studies included in the report were correlational, meaning they could not prove cause and effect. And the research also strongly suggested that among dog owners, there was a sharp contrast between those who walked their dogs themselves and those who did not.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that pet owners are just as likely to be overweight as people without pets. One large study involving thousands of people found that 17 percent of those who walked their dogs were obese, compared with 28 percent of dog owners who did not walk their dogs and 22 percent of those without pets.

Dr. Levine said that he and his colleagues were not recommending that people adopt pets for any reason other than to give them a good home.

“If someone adopts a pet, but still sits on the couch and smokes and eats whatever they want and doesn’t control their blood pressure,” he said, “that’s not a prudent strategy to decrease their cardiovascular risk.”




A Patient Success Story: How EECP Therapy Helped Tina Get Her Life Back

When we come across a great recovery story from a patient, it encourages our whole team to work harder to ensure that more people with heart disease have access to EECP Therapy.

The following story is about Tina McCoy, who was able to restore her health and quality of life after two open-heart surgeries. Unfortunately, after the surgeries she was still in pain and ultimately learned that none of the bypasses had worked.

Determined to get healthy, she searched for more information about heart disease and ways to lead a heart healthy lifestyle, which helped her get her life back. In addition to rehab, Tina tried EECP Therapy and this winning combination kept her out of the hospital.

She found this Therapy with the help of CHAMPS, a cardiac rehabilitation program through University of Iowa.

Tina writes, “I’m always finding the beauty in the day and what makes life really wonderful to be a part of.”

We hope Tina can stay healthy and live an active life for many years to come!

Read the full article here: http://www.uihealthcare.org/contentWithMenu.aspx?id=235985


photo 4

Notes from the Road: The ACC Scientific Session in California

This year’s American College of Cardiology Scientific Session  was a successful exhibition for Vasomedical – we were able to interact with people interested in EECP® Therapy and help spread the word even more about the positive impact these treatments can have.  And what better way to kick off Spring than to spend some time with our fellow industry partners out in sunny California!

photo 4

During the three days of the show, many people visited the booth and expressed great interest in EECP and our other product lines. We were also pleased to receive positive feedback from a number of our current customers who expressed appreciation for how our technology is improving the quality of life of their patients.

We also encountered several attendees who were not as familiar with EECP Therapy who came by and asked some great clinical questions. They left the booth interested and many requested additional information to evaluate how adding EECP services to their practice or hospital would improve patient outcomes, generate revenue or save money in their healthcare system – all of which it has been proven to do!

Overall, the 2013 ACC Session proved once again to be a great show for Vasomedical.  We look forward to attending more conferences this year – in the U.S. and abroad – to continue to spread the word.  Stay tuned for more tales from the road; and if you ever plan to attend one of these conferences let us know, we’d love for you to swing by our booth!


Tell Us: How Should We Celebrate EECP® Therapy Week Next Year?

As you may know, this week is EECP® Therapy Week!  Initially, we planned to have our centers come together for a Red Balloon release to celebrate the positive impact EECP has had on peoples’ lives.  However last week, it came to our attention that there can be negative consequences for the environment if we release helium balloons, so we are now in search of an even better way to celebrate next year and we’d love your feedback.

Vasomedical wants to help EECP centers around the U.S. host a special event to raise awareness of EECP Therapy and honor the American Heart Association’s Heart Month during the Month of February.

This is where you come in! We would like to hear from our own EECP patients, therapists and supporters about the best way to celebrate EECP Therapy week without harming the environment.  We hope to celebrate with an activity that is environmentally-friendly and can also bring EECP staff and patients together as a tribute to the positive impact this therapy has had on their health and the quality of their lives.


We recently posed this challenge to our Facebook community and received the following suggestions.  We’d like to take a vote to see which option people would most like to see happen, so please leave in the comments section of the blog, our Facebook wall or tweet at us with your thoughts!

  1. Organize local 5K walks, participants will wear red to support heart health month
  2. Donate bulbs and organize a day for planting red flowers in local communities
  3. Coordinate a day and time for supporters to wear red ribbons to celebrate

Now we pose the question to you- What do you think is the best way for us to celebrate?   We welcome all innovative suggestions for an activity that can help to spread awareness of the benefits of EECP Therapy. We look forward to receiving your thoughts!