Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Doctor's Orders, Fish Twice a Week

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Doctor's Orders, Fish Twice a Week

Article excerpt

Growing up in Charleston, going to medical school in my home state and having the chance to practice medicine in the Kanawha Valley, I've developed a deep appreciation of the Mountain State and a love of its diverse people and beautiful places. My heritage has taught me a lot - especially what a great area this is to live, work and raise a family. West Virginians stand tall in family, faith and kindness. Unfortunately, we fall short in matters of health and wellness. Just last month, West Virginia ranked third worst in obesity according to "The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, a report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America's Health.

And in 2013, an article in USA Today reported that Charleston ranked No. 5 in the nation for the most heart attacks. The article goes on to state that, "Physical health in Charleston was worse than any other metro area except for nearby Huntington-Ashland. More than 41 percent of the people in the Charleston area had been told they had high blood pressure - the second-highest rate in the country.

As a cardiologist, subspecialized in electrophysiology, I have been trained and practice medicine using the best science and data. According to the West Virginia Health Statistics Center, nearly 14 percent of West Virginia adults have cardiovascular disease, making it the least heart-healthy state in the nation.

In the 2011 Gallup Healthways ranking, West Virginia had the nation's worst statistics in 10 of 12 categories, which included high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and obesity.

Because I care so deeply about our city and our citizens, I want to issue a heart-felt challenge to our community to make some much needed lifestyle changes so that we can all live longer, healthier lives - and educate our children on how to make better choices. …

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