American Heart Month: Meet New Cardiologist Dr. Laws
How to stay heart healthy and prevent disease; Memorial Regional Health adds new cardiologist to team.
Sponsored content by Memorial Regional Health
February is American Heart Month, a great time to learn about heart-healthy tips and preventing heart disease – which is still the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 659,000 Americans die from heart disease each year — one in every four deaths. Heart-healthy living and protecting our cardiac health starts with understanding our risks.
“Risk factor modification is one of the most important ways to reduce the possibility for cardiac events,” said Dr. Frank Laws, new visiting provider at Memorial Regional Health who specializes in both interventional cardiology and electrophysiology. “Really look at what may be impacting your heart health like diet, exercise, tobacco use and even sleep habits. Sleep apnea is a silent killer.”
What is heart disease and who is at risk?
Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions — the most common being coronary artery disease, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Coronary artery disease occurs when a person’s arteries become clogged and can lead to stroke, heart failure and peripheral artery disease.
People at higher risk for heart disease include those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or who are smokers. According to the CDC, other risk factors include diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use. The American Heart Association and Dr. Laws also say those who have sleep apnea are at higher risk for having heart related diseases and cardiac events.
“If you have sleep apnea, it can be more than an annoyance, it can be very dangerous,” said Dr. Laws. “It could lead to higher blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia. We are more at risk of having sleep apnea in Colorado’s higher altitudes and this is something people should be more aware of.”
Heart-healthy tips to practice
To protect yourself from heart disease, ask your provider about your blood pressure, cholesterol and other important heart numbers. If your numbers are high, they can work with you about treating your condition or prevent it from worsening.
- Eat healthier — Reduce the sodium, added sugars and saturated and trans fats in your diet while increasing your number of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Be active — Even if you’re just moving your body for 10 minutes a day, physical activity can lower your cholesterol levels, help you manage high blood pressure and lower your risk for diabetes.
- Quit smoking — It can raise your risk of heart disease and heart attack while worsening other risk factors.
- Manage your stress — Research shows stress contributes to high blood pressure. Participate in healthy stress-reducing activities such as therapy, medication and being physically active.
New addition to the MRH team
Dr. Laws is a board-certified cardiologist who specializes in both interventional cardiology and electrophysiology, from Valley View Heart & Vascular Center in Glenwood Springs. He is on-site two days a month at MRH.
Dr. Laws was born and raised on St. Kitts, the Saint Christopher Island in the West Indies. He followed in the footsteps of his older siblings and became a medical professional. He attained his medical degree from the University of West Indies in Jamaica and completed his residency at the University of Virginia School of Medicine Roanoke/Salem Program.
He has hospital appointments at healthcare facilities all around the country and around Colorado, including clinics in Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Meeker, Rangely and Rifle.
“It is an honor to be able to help MRH with their cardiology program,” he said. “Being able to provide comprehensive heart care to the folks in Craig and surrounding areas is so important.”
Memorial Regional Health offers several cardiology services for patients right here in Craig, thanks to the addition of Dr. Frank Laws, skilled cardiologist from Valley View Heart & Vascular Center in Glenwood Springs. Cardiology tests that can be performed at the Memorial Regional Health Cardiology Clinic include:
24-hour Holter Monitors3 – 30-day cardiac event monitorsPlain Treadmill stress testsNuclear treadmill stress testingStress echocardiogramsEKGsCardiac CT studies and calcium scoringEchocardiograms
For questions about services that Dr. Laws offers, call the MRH Cardiology Clinic at 970-826-2400. To schedule an appointment to be seen in Craig, patients should call Valley View Heart and Vascular at 970-384-7290.
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