February 18, 2020 – Dr. Ilyas Khan, Cardiologist with The Heart Institute of East Texas presented the Heart Health program at the Women on the Go Club meeting hosted by AgriLife Extension on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 concerning the risk factors on heart disease and other issues associated with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Khan specializes in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography.
Feleshia Thompson, County Extension Agent-Family and Community Health, welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Health and Fitness Fair Committee for sponsoring the meal. Thompson introduced Sharon Ford, Marketing Specialist with The Heart Institute of East Texas who in turn gave the introduction for Dr. Khan and his background. Ford thanked everyone for having her and Dr. Khan at the club meeting and she explained how the amazing group of doctors with The Heath Institute of East Texas gives educational talks in communities throughout East Texas.
“Thank you for having us here,” said Dr. Khan. “As Sharon pointed out, this month, February is heart month, which gives us an opportunity to go out into the community to try to create awareness about heart disease and how we can invest in healthy lifestyles and prevent heart disease.” Dr. Khan continued, “The Heart Institute of East Texas is affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine and their main office is based in Lufkin with satellite offices all over East Texas.” Their offices are located in Center, Crockett, Hemphill, Jasper, Livingston, San Augustine, Trinity and Woodville.
According to medical research, Dr. Khan shared how heart disease is the leading cause of death not just in Texas or nationally, but also around the world. During the presentation, Dr. Khan provided a slideshow providing data on how a healthy heart operates in the body, describing the chambers of the heart along with explanations how the coronary arteries work in providing the proper blood flow in and out of the heart.
During his presentation, Dr. Khan identified the root cause of heart disease being plaque formation and buildup that occurs when coronary arteries become clogged by cholesterol, fatty deposits, and calcium. Buildup causes arteries to become narrow, making it difficult for oxygen and blood to flow through the body and to the organs. He further explained people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoke cigarettes are at higher risk. Dr. Khan explained in-depth each of the following factors contributing to the progression and associated with people at risk for developing heart disease including:
- Being overweight or obese
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
- Having a family history of heart disease
- Age, especially in women 55 and older
At the end of Dr. Khan’s informative presentation about how heart disease develops and what preventative measures can be taken to stay health conscious including diet and exercise, he said as referring to an American Heart Association slide, “The key is starting with simple steps because a healthy heart means a healthy you. Do whatever it takes to adapt to healthier lifestyles.” Dr. Kahn continued, “Following a heart healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t mean you have to live a life of self-deprivation, instead you need to find ways to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. The key thing is making little steps and having a dialogue with your health care providers.”
In addition, Dr. Khan reiterated the availability of their physicians and offices for The Heart Institute of East Texas and their mission “to provide a full continuum of high quality, cost effective heart and vascular services, and be committed to serving the well-being to the residents of Deep East Texas.”
Links for additional information regarding heart disease and prevention:
- The Heart Institute of East Texas - https://www.hiet.com/
- American Heart Association - https://www.heart.org/
About AgriLife Women on the Go Club
The focus of this, hands-on club is about learning tips and shortcuts to be more productive and successful in balancing home, family and work through a healthy lifestyle. While the focus of the club is geared toward women, it is open to men who also want to participate.