Heart Disease

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Heart Smart Living

Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.

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Global Leaders in Healthcare

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The upcoming Global Leaders Conference will focus on the future of healthcare

As a healthcare blogger, I am thrilled to have been invited to participate in the second annual Global Leaders in Healthcare forum, to be held January 10, 2012 in San Francisco. This conference will bring together international leaders throughout the healthcare industry, and will include panels on research and development, philanthropy, and the impact of economics on healthcare.

Since I graduated from medical school in 1988, the science, the business, the economics, and the politics of healthcare have changed in ways that I and my classmates would never have dreamed possible. Managed care was just a spot on the horizon, and the idea that a business or governmental entity could enter into the doctor-patient relationship was almost sacrilege.

Advances in Healthcare

Times have changed, driven in large part by escalating costs, but also by major advances in healthcare that have allowed us to save lives and treat complex diseases that in years past would have been a death sentence. For instance, when I finished med school, HIV and AIDS were practically synonymous, and virtually no one survived. On the cardiology front, balloon angioplasty for blocked arteries was only in its infancy, and coronary stents (small metal mesh tubes inserted into blocked arteries to keep them open) had not even been invented.

Changes in Lifestyle

Lifestyle choices have also changed dramatically. Obesity levels have risen, and people are more sedentary than ever. As a result, more people suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, and other chronic conditions. Diabetes rates have soared, contributing mightily to coronary heart disease as well as kidney failure and other disabilities.

All of these issues, positive and negative, have costs. And all require innovative thinking and investment in management, treatment, and prevention. An impressive roster of experts has been assembled for the Global Leaders in Healthcare Forum. A blog has also been established, with more detailed information about participants. I will be blogging from the forum, and look forward to sharing the insights and new information I learn from the conference.

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About the Author


MD, FACC

Dr. Samaan is an acclaimed cardiologist, writer, and heart health educator.

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