Media Tip Sheet

Story ideas and photo opportunities for February

February is American Heart Month

A heartbeat away from trouble: Many people take their heart health for granted. You know you need to take care of yourself, but it’s easy to eat one more cookie, go running tomorrow and quit smoking after the next pack. But ignoring your heart health can lead to a very serious problem—heart disease. It’s responsible for one in four deaths, which means it’s critical to understand the symptoms of heart disease. During American Heart Month in February, experts from Geisinger can discuss some unconventional warning signs that your heart’s in trouble.  

180 degrees in 72 hours: Heart disease or a heart attack might feel like a difficult health issue to overcome, but in reality, there’s hope for many with heart disease. It can be reversed with Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, a cardiac rehabilitation program that helps patients improve their diets, exercise more, get family and group support and reduce stress. Let Geisinger experts explain how this program works and who’s eligible for it, as well as some promising results. 

For the faint of heart: Calcium and scarring on your heart valves as you age can cause aortic stenosis. It’s a common problem that makes it harder for blood to flow through the heart like it should. If it’s ignored, it could lead to heart failure and death. The fix used to be open-heart surgery, but thanks to a newer, minimally-invasive procedure called TAVR, people who are at high risk for open-heart surgery can get their heart valves fixed. Let Geisinger experts explain how TAVR works, who it’s right for and what patients can expect.  

Without skipping a beat: Everyone’s felt fluttering in their chest after having a little too much caffeine or even watching a scary movie. It’s normal, and it’s usually not a problem. But a persistent irregular heartbeat isn’t normal, and it could be a sign of something more serious like AFib or even cardiac arrest. Learn what’s behind an irregular heartbeat, what other symptoms to look for, and how it’s treated.   

Plant the seeds of health: Your diet and heart health are closely linked. Eat a diet high in fat and cholesterol and your heart suffers; eat a diet high in nutrients and low in fat and calories and your heart shines. A heart-healthy diet means less meat and more plants—but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go full-blown vegetarian. Geisinger experts can discuss the benefits of a plant-based diet and what, exactly, it means for the average person. 

Forget me not: If you’re fighting cancer, it’s important to know you may need to take extra special care of your heart. With a cancer diagnosis often comes an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack or stroke. And some cancer therapies only increase the likelihood of a heart problem. Geisinger experts can discuss why cancer and heart problems are linked and what patients can do to ensure their hearts stay strong to help them through their cancer fight.

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Wendy Wilson
Vice President of Media
Corporate Communications