COPY-Dr. Bachireddy's mission to eradicate heart disease

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Coronary Heart Disease.  It's a disease that doesn't discriminate between the sexes.  It's the number one killer in the United States.  And, it was the topic of today's First Friday business luncheon in Lufkin.

Well-known Lufkin Dr. Ravinder Bachireddy says that's why it's so important to reduce your risk factors, know the warning signs, and know how to respond quickly and properly if warning signs occur.

Dr. Bachireddy started his presentation by saying he hoped the information he shared would change their lifestyle.  He said heart disease was a national problem and the best solution was changing lifestyles.  He said, "450 billion dollars a year is spent on cardiovascular disease, that's half the cost of the proposed economic stimulus bill!"

He outlined the classic warning signs:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness outlined ten steps.

He said the warning signs for women are a little different, as with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Dr. Bachireddy said the good news is that from 1994 to 2004 the death rate from coronary heart disease declined 33 percent.  But, he also pointed out that the actual number of deaths declined only 18 percent during that period.

According to the American Heart Association there are "451,326 deaths in the United States in 2004 (one of every five deaths) and 1,200,000 new and recurrent coronary attacks per year."

Dr. Bachireddy stressed the importance of knowing the warning signs of heart attack, making sure you know your risk factors.

Risk factors that can't be changed like age (over 83 percent of people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older), gender (men have a greater risk of heart attack than women do, and they have attacks earlier in life),  and heredity or race (children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves. African Americans have more severe high blood pressure than Caucasians and a higher risk of heart disease).

He also emphasized those risk factors that can be modified like smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and overweight, diabetes, stress, and too much alcohol.

Dr. Ravinder Bachireddy MD, FACC is an acclaimed interventional Cardiologist with specializations in Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology and a leader in cardiovascular medicine serving East Texas and the surrounding countries for the last 25 years. After completing his Fellowship in cardiovascular Diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA, Dr. Bachireddy moved to East Texas to set up his practice in cardiovascular medicine in 1981.

He has received numerous recognitions as "Texas Super Doctor"(Texas Monthly) and also listed in"Top Doctors in America".  He was recognized as The cardiologist Who Made a Dramatic Difference in Lufkin. Dr Bachireddy has been instrumental in developing the first cardiovascular program in Deep East Texas which was recognized as the "Top cardiovascular Program" in Texas and rated in the top five percent in the nation by Health Grades.

Dr. Bachireddy, during his career has held various prestigious positions in the medical community in the East Texas area and served as President of Angelina country Medical Society (2000), Chief of Staff at Woodland Heights Medical Center (1998-200), Chief of Cardiology at Woodland Heights Medical Center and Memorial Medical Center of East Texas (2000-Till Date), Board Member at Woodland Heights Medical Center (2000-2006), President of The Heart Institute of East Texas.

Dr. Bachireddy has actively presented several scientific programs at various medical meetings in East Texas and actively participated in clinical investigations and initiated several cardiovascular programs which were first of its kind in East Texas area including "Heart Attack Prevention Program" with state of the art facilities.

Dr. Bachireddy is also instrumental in popularizing bioabsorbable medical implants, diagnostic and tissue engineering kits in USA and is helping the company in entering the said segments.

Coronary heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.  Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of serious disability.