Doctors’ Note – February 2024

Dear Southcoast Health Community,

February is here and with it comes an abundance of love. What better time to show your heart some love, and learn a little more about how to best care for it.   

Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States? By simply making some of the changes to your diet and lifestyle below, you can improve your heart health by 80 percent.

Move More – Regular exercise strengthens your heart muscles, which improves your heart’s ability to pump blood throughout your body. 2.5 hours of physical activity each week is recommended. That’s just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week!

Eat Healthy – A healthy diet that’s low in sodium and saturated fat is key to heart disease prevention. Adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet is one simple way to put your eating habits on the right track. In addition, try to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day and avoid sugary beverages.

Healthy Weight – Obesity or being overweight is hard on your heart. It increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes are all large factors that contribute to heart disease.

Quit Smoking – The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your heart and blood vessels in so many ways. They can cause blood to thicken and form clots inside veins and arteries leading to heart attacks.

Diabetes Management – Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Damage to your blood vessels and nerves can cause your heart muscles to overwork leading to high blood pressure.

Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep – Stress, lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can contribute to high blood pressure and strain our hearts. We recommend getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night and encourage you to practice forms of stress reduction through activities such as meditation and yes, even exercise.  

We’re proud to be a leader both locally and nationally in cardiovascular care. Southcoast Health Heart and Vascular offers comprehensive cardiac and vascular procedures, with compassionate and personalized care at Charlton Memorial Hospital.

Our cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, have years of experience in the treatment of advanced cardiovascular disease. Leading the region in the treatment of coronary artery disease, our interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have extensive experience treating the most complex disease. In addition, our electrophysiology program, structural heart team, critical care team, advanced cardiovascular imaging program and vascular surgery program all offer innovative approaches to the evolving field of cardiovascular disease.

Click the links below to read more about Southcoast Health’s Heart and Vascular Electrophysiology Program at Charlton Memorial Hospital, led by Dr. Ramin Davoudi, Medical Director of Electrophysiology. Within this program cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Nitesh Sood, Director of Southcoast Health’s Atrial Fibrillation Wellness Program, helped Emily receive a transformational procedure to treat her heart pauses, also known as Malignant Vasovagal Syncope.

Additionally, during heart health month we’d also like to remind you to take the time to view our heart-healthy resources and attend one of our seminars.

Visit to view all of our Heart Month resources.

Wishing you and your heart the best,

Peter Cohn, MD, FACC