Dr. John Paulowski, the director of the cardiac catheterization lab in Aultman Heart Center at Aultman Hospital, went to college at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, then earned his medical degree at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). He has been with Aultman for 16 years. Prior to that, he was at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. His specialty is in interventional cardiology, with a special interest in the treatment of heart attacks. Dr. Paulowski was involved in many of the original trials using balloon angioplasty and stents.
Building up and maintaining a healthy heart when you’re young is the key to preventing heart attacks down the road, according to Dr. John Paulowski.
Dr. Paulowski said that to prevent heart problems all people should do these four things.
1. Stop smoking (or never start).
“One of the most important things people can do is not smoke cigarettes,” Dr. Paulowski said. “That would help to avoid it all. If you’re not smoking, don’t start,” the doctor advises. If you do, the damage you do may reveal itself earlier than you might imagine. “Most of the young people we see (for treatment of heart problems) are smokers.”
2. Eat well.
“Everyone should have a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.” Be careful about the amount of fats in your food. “You can have a steak once in a while, but not every day,” said Dr. Paulowski. “The key is having a well-balanced, low-fat diet.”
3. Get exercise.
“You don’t have to run a marathon,” Dr. Paulowski said. “But, exercise on a regular basis. Walk 45 minutes at least, four or five days a week and possibly even seven days.” Exercise, curiously, is a battle of the sexes, of sorts. “It helps everybody,” said Dr. Paulowski, “but women seem to gain the most benefit.”
4. Take aspirin.
Maintaining a regimen of taking a baby aspirin a day is something that should be discussed with your doctor, of course. And care should be observed as to when you take it. Still heart benefits are derived from taking the simple little pill. “Men might begin taking one baby aspirin when they reach age 45,” said Dr. Paulowski, “and women when they reach menopause.”