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St. Barnabas Hospital

Heart disease is epidemic throughout the country, but particularly in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, where death rates from heart disease are more than 300 per 100,000, compared with a national average of 253, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control.

Many Bronx residents exhibit the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.Even worse, many residents are unaware of the symptoms of a heart attack, when seconds can make the difference between life and death.

To help area residents learn how to reduce the likelihood of heart disease, Dr. Ernest Patti, director of the Emergency Department at St. Barnabas Hospital, will speak on the topic “Yes, Heart Disease Can Be Prevented” as part of the hospital’s Dinner with a Doctor series on Thursday, March 18 (beginning at 6 pm).The event, which is free to the public, will be held in the Braker Building boardroom on the St. Barnabas Hospital campus (Third Avenue and 183rd Street.).Events on the same topic will also be provided in Spanish on March 16 by Dr. Aramis Bermudez, a board certified family practitioner, and in Albanian on March 17 by Dr. Sulejman Celaj, Director of the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization lab.

“This problem is particularly prevalent in those communities where people eat a disproportionate amount of foods that are fatty and/or have high sugar content, are smokers, drink alcohol, have a high stress level, and don’t exercise regularly, ” said Dr. Patti.“The shame of it is that by following just a few lifestyle changes many people can decrease the risk of developing heart disease.”

The “Dinner with a Doctor” presentation will deal with the symptoms of heart disease, the importance of testing and early detection (including vascular screening), and preventive measures involving diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Dr. Patti is the director of the Emergency Department/Level One Trauma Center at St. Barnabas Hospital, a hospital that treats more than 100,000 patients annually.Board certified in emergency medicine, he is a frequent contributor to Fox News Channel on medical and health issues.He trained at St. Barnabas Hospital and is a graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and Villanova University. He has also appeared in the Discovery Channel, Documentary “911:The Bronx.”

Dinner with a Doctor is held at St. Barnabas Hospital on a regular basis, with members of the medical staff available to discuss various health issues while attendees enjoy a light meal.

“We encourage members of the communities we serve to take advantage of our Dinner with a Doctor series,” said Len Walsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer at St. Barnabas Hospital.“It gives them a chance to meet some of the area’s best doctors and get answers to questions they may have on various health and medical topics.We view the upcoming presentation as an opportunity for people to learn more about heart disease and how they can protect themselves and their loved ones.”

The event is limited to 60 people with free parking available in the hospital’s Quarry Road parking lot.To RSVP call Diana Loubriel at (718) 960-9295.

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