Doctor urges that cardiovascular health be a year-round priority as American Heart Month ends

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Doctor urges that heart health be a year-round priority
American Heart Month just ended but health experts want to remind you that heart health should be a year-round priority.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- American Heart Month just ended but health experts want to remind you that heart health should be a year-round priority.

Genes play a big role when it comes to our risk of cardiovascular disease but Dr. Florence Comite, endocrinologist and founder of the Comite Center for Precision Medicine and Health, says genetics doesn't have to be your destiny.

She said her New York City-based center looks at people holistically, at their entire makeup. Instead of a one size fits all approach, Comite said they look at the individual and try to predict future health and reverse it so they don't get a heart attack.

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They've been doing this for over two decades and are working on getting information online for digital health.

She gives some suggestions on reversing heart disease.

"Get some measurements with your doctor, for example, of fasting, glucose, or sugar, insulin," Comite said. "Look at testosterone -- actually in women and men -- something called free testosterone. And then look at the cholesterol risk ratio, or CRR, which is total cholesterol divided by good cholesterol, and that's an indicator of where you are."

She said if somebody has high cholesterol in their 20s, they want to reverse that. She said someone can eat well and do everything right but sometimes genes can rule.

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Comite said if you're diabetic, the risk of heart attack is equivalent to someone who's already had a heart attack.

She says over 90% of us have a disorder of glucose metabolism, so we really need to pay attention to our sleep, food and exercise for our heart health.

"It's best to be aware of all your habits, starting with eating enough protein, getting enough sleep," Comite said. "The food you eat is an important factor, and so is exercise. I would put it in that order: sleep, food and exercise. Practice meditation if that is something you love to do because that can help your genes in a way that's positive."

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