Vascular disease can happen to anyone. While in many cases your susceptibility to vascular disease may be genetic, several of the risk factors for vascular disease, such as high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, and smoking, are within your control.
The Columbia Division of Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Interventions is committed to providing comprehensive vascular care, which includes a focus on prevention. Our physicians can help you to identify and modify your risk factors for vascular disease. This section provides information on programs run by or in association with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital that can help high-risk patients take significant steps to maintain lifestyles supportive of a healthy vascular system. Programs for Smoking Cessation, Exercise and Weight Reduction and Cholesterol Reduction are available.
Smoking Cessation Programs
Today, most people are aware that smoking is a significant risk factor for most types of heart and vascular diseases, including lower extremity vascular disease, aortic aneurysms and carotid artery disease and stroke.
If you are trying to give up smoking, speak to your physician about ways to quit. Formal smoking cessation programs are an option and programs affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian are listed below:
- The AIM Practice Smoking Cessation Clinic offers individual smoking cessation counseling sessions on Mondays at the Vanderbilt Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. For information or to make an appointment call 212.305.6354.
- For more information on smoking cessation resources at NewYork-Presbyterian, please see the smoking cessation page on our main Hospital web site, http://nyp.org.
Exercise and Weight Reduction Programs
Consistent moderate exercise promotes vascular health by improving blood circulation in the peripheral vascular system, and by helping to maintain a healthy blood pressure and body weight. A healthy body weight is best achieved through a combination of proper diet and exercise. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program. Exercise and weight management programs accessible to our patients are listed below:
- HealthOutreach, a program directed towards Seniors over 60 years of age, conducts a number of exercise classes. One such class consisting of ten sessions is located at Sokol Hall, 1325 York Street. For more information, call 212.746.4351.
Cholesterol Reduction Programs
High cholesterol levels in the blood (hypercholesterolemia) can lead to atherosclerosis (deposits of plaque in the blood vessels) and vascular diseases. Maintaining appropriate levels of "good" cholesterol ("high density lipoprotein, or HDL) and "bad" cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) in the blood is crucial for vascular health. While genetics can play a part in cholesterol levels, levels of cholesterol in the blood can be improved by diet changes, regular exercise and in some cases by taking cholesterol lowering medications. If your cholesterol level puts you at risk for vascular diseases here are two programs that may be of help:
- The Comprehensive Lipid Control Center (CLCC), run by the Rogosin Institute, is an affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. The CLCC provides individualized diagnosis and treatment of high cholesterol problems. For more information about the center contact the CLCC directly by phone at 212.702.9600, or see http://www.rogosin.org.
- NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center offers nutritional counseling and education for patients with certain medical conditions, such high cholesterol and high blood pressure. A referral from a physician is required. For information, call 212.305.5952.
Vascular Disease Screening Program
Vascular disease can:
- Cause potentially lethal aneurysms of the main body artery (aorta)
- Block the carotid arteries to the brain causing strokes and
- Impair the circulation in the legs leading to serious disability Often, these conditions do not produce symptoms
Early vascular disease detection has great value — it can significantly reduce the risks of subsequent death and disability from vascular disease.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's Division of Vascular Surgery has a Vascular Disease Screening Program aimed at early detection of vascular diseases.
Our screening program involves the following three, painless, noninvasive tests:
- Carotid Duplex (Carotid Artery Ultrasound Scan)
- Abdominal Duplex (Aorta Ultrasound Scan)
- Ankle Brachial Index (Test of blood flow in the legs)
Who should be screened?
People over 60 with one or more of the following risk factors:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Coronary (Heart) Artery Disease
- Family History of Vascular Disease*
- Prior Stroke or "Mini" Stroke
- Known peripheral (non cardiac) vascular disease
*everyone over 50 who has a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm should be screened
Medicare and many insurance companies do not cover the costs of vascular disease screening in people that do not have symptoms. The NYPH Division of Vascular Surgery therefore provides a low cost alternative — $220 for all three tests.