Heart Month activities with an International Flair

Heart_Month_Bundle_0120_EmailAll around the world you’ll find people with unique personalities, passions and talents – each of them with a heart that they could not live without. Hennepin Healthcare has a month full of free, heart-healthy activities planned to celebrate these multi-chambered organs responsible for love – and life itself! Check out our exciting schedule and discover a way to treat your heart – and mind – this February.

Learn Hands-Only CPR and Save Lives
Wednesday, February 5
12pm to 1pm | HCMC Red Building, 2nd-floor skyway, public seating area
No mouth-to-mouth assisted breathing needed for this type of CPR! Learn this simple, life-saving technique from our Hennepin EMS team. Every second counts!

National Wear Red Day
Friday, February 7

Hennepin Healthcare is going red! Wear red on the first Friday in February to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and save lives. Email photos of your group wearing red to events@hcmed.org.

Two Daves with Heart: David Fine, MD on Healthy Matters with David Hilden, MD
Sunday, February 9, 7am to 8 am | WCCO-AM Radio (Listen LIVE)
Tune in to hear cardiologist David Fine, MD kick off National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week and hear how this essential intervention following a heart attack, cardiac surgery or other heart issue helps patients regain strength and confidence.

Quigong with Acupuncturist Steve Compton
Wednesday, February 12,
12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Qigong is a mind-body-spirit practice with origins in China that improves mental and physical health by integrating posture, movement, breathing technique, self-massage, sound, and focused intent. Join Steve Compton as he leads a Shibashi (18 Harmonizing Movements) Qigong class – great for beginners! Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

Zumba with Patient Services Coordinator Deanne Flomo
Thursday, February 13, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center
Zumba, developed in Colombia, is a fitness program that combines Latin music with dance moves. Join Deanne Flomo for this “dance party” and get your heart moving! Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

Food is Medicine with Certified Executive Chef Antonio Sanchez and Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Rosenstein
Thursday, February 20, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Eating heart-healthy can be flavorful! Learn how to prepare heart-healthy meals and get cooking tips from Certified Executive Chef Antonio Sanchez and Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Rosenstein. RSVP

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with Physician Assistant Natalie Ikeman
Friday, February 21,
12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of timed cardiovascular high-intensity exercises with short periods of active recovery. Natalie Ikeman will teach this HIIT class using bodyweight only and modifications will be provided for all fitness levels. RSVP

Yoga with Cardiology Physician Assistant Jill Jordan
Wednesday, February 26, 12pm to 1pm
Clinic & Specialty Center | M. Stillman Education and Community Center

Yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in India more than 5,000 years ago. Join Jill Jordan as she leads a yoga class combining physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. No mat required. Register early – class may fill up. RSVP

The Hennepin Heart Center provides comprehensive care for your heart by specialists in all areas of cardiovascular medicine. Caring for common cardiovascular problems such as blocked arteries and abnormal rhythms, we also evaluate and manage heart failure as well as complex heart and arterial disease.

Is niacin breaking your heart?

Using niacin to improve cholesterol levels doesn’t reduce heart attack or stroke in high risk patients

We’ve all heard that lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels and raising HDL or “good” cholesterol is good for the heart. When lifestyle changes have not been adequate, most treatment effort in the management of heart disease and stroke risk has focused on lowering the LDL or “bad” cholesterol using a class of drugs called statins. In recent years, the use of niacin – a vitamin B3 – in addition to standard statin therapy has been increasing in the U.S.   The main effect of niacin is in raising HDL or “good” cholesterol and this was hoped to result in improving heart attack and stroke prevention beyond what was obtained through the use of statins. But recently reported results from a large study state that the long-term effects of niacin do not lead to better outcomes.

Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew
Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew

“And in fact, niacin use may even be harmful,” explains Dr. Woubeshet Ayenew, a cardiologist at Hennepin County Medical Center, who is referring to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine that associated niacin with infections, skin problems, and diabetes complications. “While niacin can increase HDL levels and lower LDLs and triglycerides, these apparently favorable changes in the lipid levels did not reduce heart attack and stroke when high risk patients were followed on niacin over the long-term,” says Dr. Ayenew. “The effect or benefit of niacin on patients without prior vascular disease was not looked at in these studies.”

“In light of this research, high-risk patients with prior heart attack, stroke or diabetes with arterial blockages who are currently taking niacin with their statin should review their treatment plan with their provider.”

Dr. Ayenew also asserts that pursuing a healthy lifestyle is still the most beneficial and safest way to avoid cardiovascular disease.  If medications are needed to supplement healthy lifestyles, it does appear that statins are very effective and have a better safety profile compared to vitamin B3 or niacin.

Woubeshet Ayenew practices in HCMC’s Cardiology Clinic located in downtown Minneapolis, as well as HCMC’s Brooklyn Center Clinic.  He was the local principal investigator for the AIM-HIGH trial that looked at the impact of niacin on people with vascular disease. The cardiology clinic was recently identified as the number one rated cardiology clinic by patients for “overall provider experience” in Minnesota, according to results published by Clinician and Group Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CGCAHPS), a tool used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to collect patient feedback.