Dr. Arshad Safi of Summit Cardiology, Jennifer Ruby, registered dietitian, and Dr. Carina Signori of Summit Endocrinology answer questions from attendees.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – More than 100 people braved the cold temperatures on Thursday, Feb. 19 to attend Summit Health's free community seminar, "Your Heart & Diabetes."

Keynote speakers Dr. Arshad Safi of Summit Cardiology and Dr. Carina Signori of Summit Endocrinology provided important reminders and tips to attendees on how to understand and manage their diabetes, and prevent heart problems.

Dr. Safi noted that current trends on the increase of heart attacks, occurrence of diabetes, and weight gain in America all have an impact on each other.

"A patient with diabetes has a higher risk of heart attack," he said. "Additionally, obesity has a direct effect on a person being diabetic and must be addressed eventually."

Currently, 2 out of 3 people are overweight or obese, 1 in 4 has some type of insulin resistance, and every 34 seconds there is a coronary event.

"The whole goal is to catch people when they're pre-diabetic so we can move them backwards and not forward to complications," Dr. Safi said.

Diabetes develops when the pancreas no longer produces insulin, or does not produce enough of it.

Type 1 Diabetes is not as common, but occurs when the pancreas produces little to no insulin. Type 2 Diabetes is more common and is typically affected by a variety of factors, including genetics, weight, and diet.

"There's no medication that can do what our pancreas does," Dr. Signori said. "It's perfect when it works well. However, there are things we can do to help."

More than 74 million Americans are considered pre-diabetic, which means many of them will see the disease progress on to Type II Diabetes if they do not consult their doctor and implement lifestyle changes, she said.

Both Dr. Safi and Dr. Signori stressed the importance of making healthy lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes and heart problems.

For instance, reducing your body weight by seven percent and exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week can have a significant impact on slowing the progress of the disease in pre-diabetics, Dr. Signori said.

Dr. Safi shared his 10 tips for a healthier heart:

  • Be active
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat healthy
  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid stress
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Control your diabetes
  • Take your medications
  • Listen to your doctor

The seminar was sponsored by Summit Health. Attendees were also offered free blood pressure screenings, free BMI calculations, and cardiac risk assessments by Summit Cardiology and Chambersburg Hospital's Cardiology Services.

For more information on cardiology services available in Franklin County, visit www.SummitHealth.org/Heart.

For more information on diabetes services available in Franklin County, visit www.SummitHealth.org/Diabetes.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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