A Message From the MAA Board President – Eric Peterson, MD, MPH

Dear Friends of Heart, 

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the American Heart Association’s largest scientific meeting, Scientific Sessions, in Los Angeles, California.  It is incredible to see tens of thousands of heart disease and stroke researchers, clinicians, nurses, advocates and staff partners from around the world come together to learn more about the latest and greatest cardiovascular science.  Scientific Sessions is a unique chance to experience more than 4,000 presentations given by some of the world’s top leaders in the areas of cardiovascular disease. 

American Heart Association President, Donna Arnett, Ph.D., M.S.P.H. opened Sessions with remarks focused on hypertension.  Dr. Arnett talked about the importance of prevention, and in particular, about the global pandemic of high blood pressure and its deadly consequences.  She described how we now live in a toxic environment, filled with foods packed with calories and sodium.  These evil bounties have helped fuel our current epidemic of obesity, high blood pressure and eventually, cardiovascular disease.

But the choice of how we deal with this world of unhealthy temptations is ours to make.  As we approach the Thanksgiving season, it’s important that we consider giving our bodies some thanks as well. The holidays can be the most wonderful – but least heart-healthy – time of the year.  As you navigate through you holiday get-togethers and office potlucks keep an eye out for how much salt and calories you are consuming.  Why not treat your family to a festive and healthy dish from Simple Cooking With Heart?  You can also find tips for managing holiday stress and staying physically active at heart.org/gettinghealthy.  

Thanksgiving is also a time of gratitude, and I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our staff, volunteers, sponsors and community partners.  Realize your hard work is making a great  difference in the lives of people you may never meet, but who are surviving, thriving and celebrating with their families and friends this holiday season because of you.  

Sincerely, 

Eric Peterson, MD, MPH 
President, Board of Directors, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate  

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