This story appeared in our 2015 Giving Guide. View the guide.
There are 900,000 heart attacks and 700,000 strokes each year in the United States. The OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute is developing new life-saving procedures and evidence-based medicine to cut these numbers down.
“At the Knight Cardiovascular Institute, disease prevention is part of our key values,” says cardiologist Joaquin E. Cigarroa.
“Patients need down-to-earth guidelines,” Cigarroa says. “We can help them make the right choices through personalized prevention and healthy lifestyles.” Choices that can slow – and even beat – heart disease. Choices that can add years to life.
He knows firsthand that it can be done. With a family history of heart attacks and a high cholesterol level, Cigarroa knew he, too, was at risk – and he had to act. He overhauled his diet to emphasize vegetables and fresh foods. He cut down on sugar and soda. He took up running.
Today he estimates that his own lifetime risk of heart attack has dropped from 50% to 5%. His patients know he’s a doctor who takes his own advice – and he hopes they’re inspired to follow suit.
Cigarroa is part of a growing team of cardiology experts at OHSU. In 2006, OHSU had six cardiology faculty and two heart surgeons. We now have 69. There is no turning back.
Our two-pronged approach of molecular-level research and personalized prevention at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute will help save thousands of lives. Your gift will help speed that work.