We’ve all heard that exercising keeps the heart healthy – whether it’s a run, yoga class or cycling. But how much exercise is healthy and can too much be harmful?
According to a recent piece by MedPage Today, “too much of a good thing” can become a reality, and one must be tuned in to his or her limits. It looks like moderate exercise may be the way to go, even for healthy patients.
The article states:
“Research involving stable chronic heart disease (CHD) patients found daily strenuous exercise to be associated with a more than twofold increased risk for cardiovascular mortality compared with moderate (two- to four-times a week) exercise (2.36, 95% CI 1.05-5.34).”
This is not an excuse to skip your exercise though! Researchers found that moderate, regular exercise is important for maintaining a healthy heart. Widely accepted guidelines recommend 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity five to seven days per week.
Dr. Kai Ruffmann is a cardiologist based in Germany who has been recommending and administering EECP® Therapy treatments for his patients for more than ten years. He has treated more than 250 patients in the hospital he worked at in the Black Forest region, and recently opened his own cardiology and internal medicine clinic in Baden-Baden.
Though various sites in Germany have provided EECP Therapy for many years, Dr. Ruffmann is the first German provider to get one of the German health insurance companies – a sickness fund – to provide reimbursement coverage for EECP Therapy, which is a huge win.
Germany has a universal multi-payer healthcare system with two main types of health insurance: “Law-enforced health insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), also known as sickness funds, and “Private” (Private Krankenversicherung). The “law enforced health insurance” is available for people who fall below a certain income level, and is provided through private non-profit sickness funds at common rates for all members. This insurance is paid for with joint employer-employee contributions.
The recently updated 2013 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines granted a IIa Level of Recommendation for EECP Therapy in treating refractory angina patients and this upgrade in status helps with reimbursement from insurance companies. At Vasomedical, we know that EECP Therapy changes lives, and we are very pleased to see that additional insurance companies around the world are beginning to accept this treatment and reimburse for it.
We appreciate Dr. Ruffmann’s commitment to his patients and his support of EECP Therapy on their behalf. We will continue to work with him to expand reimbursement coverage for more patients in Germany and Europe.
The Reverend has been receiving EECP Therapy since 2004 as a preventative treatment to ensure his system is functioning to its best capacity and he has optimal blood flow. Due to a hectic schedule which includes a great deal of travel and public speaking, he believes maintaining his system and focusing on his circulation and healthy diet are critical.
According to Rev. Beckwith:
“It is essential, if someone is going to do their life work, if someone’s going to release their gifts, their talents, their capacities – which is what I teach – they need to be healthy. It’s a sad thing to see someone who has a great dream within their heart and soul but can’t manifest it because they’re sick all the time.”
In the video, the Reverend discusses not only his excellent experience with EECP Therapy, but relays the positive experiences of several members of his congregation as well.
What if you found out your heart’s age was older than your current age? Would you take action?
According to a recent study involving 3,000 patients, researchers in Spain compared a relatively new tool to measure heart-disease risk, called Heart Age, against a commonly used heart risk-assessment tool to gauge what participant’s “heart age” was.
The positive news: people took action! Participants who were told that their heart age was greater than their chronological age showed health improvements a year later, more so than those in the comparison group.
As you may know, more than 700,000 Americans suffer from heart attacks each year, and a quarter of all people in the U.S. die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is a major health issue which requires us to all to be proactive rather than reactive about our health. Apps such as Heart Age, prod us to take action and have demonstrated that they are successful in prompting lifestyle changes.
As we come to a close on American Heart Month don’t let apps simply scare you into action but think of them as a jumping off point for taking a healthy initiative. Try to eat well, get 30 minutes of exercise a day, and take the stairs instead of the elevator – simple life changes can make a world of difference.
Tell us: what apps do you use to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Through a program known as Public Private Partnership (PPP), the government of the state of Tamil Nadu in India, in cooperation with VasoMeditech Ltd., Vasomedical’s authorized distributor in India, has launched the Non-Invasive Ischemic Burden Reduction Program (NIBP-P) to bring EECP® Therapy to patients seeking treatment for their coronary artery disease in the government medical college hospitals in the region.
This new program aims to tackle the growing epidemic of cardiovascular disease in India and help the government handle the increase in the number of patients seeking treatment in the public hospital sector. The project includes a continuing medical education program launched by VasoMeditech in collaboration with Madras Medical College on non-invasive options for patients with recurrent angina and heart failure emphasizing the clinical benefits and use of EECP Therapy.
EECP® treatment is currently available through this program at Rajiv Gandhi Government Medical College Hospital, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, K.M. Cherian Heart Foundation, Chettinad Health City Hospital, Rohini Hospital Tanjavoure and K.G. Hospital in Coimbatore. In the coming year Vasomeditech is planning to initiate additional programs through the PPP in private and public hospitals across the country.
Across the country there are heart clinics and cardiologists dedicated to providing the best in EECP Therapy to patients who suffer from heart disease. This week, we wanted to shine the spotlight on Heart House in Washington Township and Dr. Scott Fertels, a cardiologist with Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley, New Jersey.
Dr. Fertels witnessed remarkable patient progress as a result of undergoing treatment with EECP Therapy. He writes:
“One of our patients, an 82-year old gentleman with a history of coronary artery bypass and prior intracoronary stents was even able to go jogging without chest pain, fatigue or shortness of breath after completing his EECP treatment.”
EECP Therapy has changed lives. Dr. Fertels receives thank you letters all the time but one note he received from a 68-year old patient with advanced heart disease was particularly poignant:
“She wrote that prior to receiving EECP Therapy; she was constantly overwhelmed by fatigue and discomfort, unable to travel to the supermarket without needing to spend the entire day recovering in bed. After completing the entire EECP treatment protocol, her energy level was so improved that she decided to take a 300 mile trip to be with friends at her 50 year high school reunion.”
Dr. Fertels is an advocate for EECP Therapy because he has seen patient improvements with his own eyes.
There are many more heartwarming stories of recovery written every day, and we look forward to bringing them to you via the blog. If you have a story about EECP Therapy you’d like to share, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.