Bronx Heart Health Month focuses on the kidneys

Bronx Heart Health Month focuses on the kidneys
Courtesy of Jacobi Medical Center

It may seem odd, but kidneys affect heart health more than anything else in the body.

The connection between the heart and kidneys is known as cardio-renal health.

It’s something that doctors aim to raise awareness of during Heart Health Month.

“When your kidneys are effected by something, your heart tends to be as well,” said Dr. Anjali Acharya, who has spent 17 years at Jacobi Medical Center, she’s now the director of its renal division.

“Patients that have struggled with kidney disease often die from heart disease,” she added.

Dr. Acharya has recently opened a cardio-renal clinic through Jacobi.

Patients see two different specialists, one for their heart and another for their kidneys.

The appointments are done through what’s called ‘shared medical appointments’ which is where multiple patients are seen by doctors in a single setting.

She believes this set up will increase efficiency and patient satisfaction.

“With appointment times becoming shorter and shorter, shared medical appointments give patients more time to interact with doctors,” said Dr. Acharya.

“The average appointment time is under 30 minutes now, these sessions run for about 90 minutes,” she added.

Dr. Acharya explained that the clinic’s configuration urges patients to express questions and concerns to the medical staff.

She also believes that patients will form bonds and unity in knowing that they are not alone with whatever health issues they might face.

That’s only one of many different initiatives taken for heart health throughout the Bronx.

Montefiore Medical Center is offering ‘mindfulness meditation,’ a nondenominational practice that helps with happiness and stress reduction.

This program includes meditation time as well as instruction of meditative techniques to be used at any time.

It’s being run at Montefiore Moses Campus, 111 E. 210th Street on each Wednesday of February from noon to 1 p.m.

Montefiore will also be running two community lectures on high blood pressure this month.

One is at Eastchester Gardens Community Center, on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., the other being at the Edenwald Library, on Wednesday, February 28 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Bronx Fashion Week partnered with Affinity Health Plan is presenting ‘Heart Your Heart,’ a pop-up store geared towards heart health, fitness, and wellness.

That’s at 200 Baychester Avenue on Saturary, February 10, from 2 to 7 p.m.

Regional Aid for Interim Needs, Inc. (R.A.I.N.) is recruiting community members to be part of a new Bronx Health Corps project aimed at educating Bronx seniors on heart health in addition to living with heart disease.

Lincoln Hospital is encouraging staff members to wear red in support of heart health awareness.

To keep up with heart and even kidney health, Dr. Acharya recommends going beyond a low sodium diet into a low potassium diet.

“Diets like that assist in keeping blood pressure low,” said Dr. Acharya.

“High blood pressure can damage kidneys which could lead to heart failure,” she added.

Dr. Acharya also recommends speaking with a cardiologist about kidney health and the effects connected to a person’s heart.