"Taking Steps To Avoid Heart Attacks May Protect You From Dementia, Too" - Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD
We all know someone—a relative, friend, coworker, or acquaintance—who has had a heart attack or stroke. Together, these devastating events are the leading cause of death in the world. Fortunately, they are also preventable and taking steps to avoid heart attacks and strokes may also help protect you from dementia. Valentin Fuster, MD, professor of medicine and cardiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of Mount Sinai Heart wrote, “Coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes, occurs when plaque builds up in the major vessels that supply blood to the heart. This build-up narrows and hardens the arteries, and can cause blood clots to form and cut off the flow of blood to the heart (a “heart attack”).” The good news is that you can decrease the likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke by taking care of seven risk factors that play a key role in the development of heart disease. Doing so may also help stave off cognitive decline, Dr. Fuster added. Recent research suggests that these same risk factors affect the tiny vessels of the brain, leading to microinfarcts, or mini-strokes, that damage or destroy small areas of brain tissue. With an aging American population, our epidemic of at-risk individuals will only increase unless people take responsibility for avoiding heart attack, stroke and dementia.
- Valentin Fuster, MD, Professor, Medicine, Cardiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Mount Sinai Heart, the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute and the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health and Physician in Chief at Mount Sinai Hospital