Preaching Prevention with Dr. John A. Pasquini
Cardiology Mid Carolina Cardiology
Dr. John A. Pasquini is a preacher of prevention. And while eradicating coronary disease is a good goal to have, he says most people would have to make major life changes to make that happen. “Some people are genetically predisposed, but probably 70 to 80 percent of the disease is caused by poor diet, stress, being overweight, and having high blood pressure.”
Because of his dedication to prevention, the cardiologist helped craft a wellness program for Charlotte physicians to follow with their patients. He also serves on the advisory board of the HeartBright Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to educate people about healthy lifestyles and to bring preventative cardiology programs to impoverished communities.The 2011 State of the County Health Report showed that in 2010, 24 percent of Mecklenburg County residents reported no physical exercise in the past month, and 17 percent were smokers. “The numbers are alarming,” says Pasquini. He says that’s why heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death (cancer is third). “The bottom line to preventing all of it is to work at it from the onset,” he says. “We know from autopsies that hardening of the arteries starts in the teenage years.”
When he started practicing medicine twenty-eight years ago, he says heart attack patients spent two weeks in the hospital and were treated with morphine. “Now, if they come in early, they go right into the [catheterization laboratory]. We find the blocked artery, and we can literally reverse the attack,” he says. “It’s been an amazing journey.” —M. B.