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    Cardiac Independence Program

    The Cardiac Independence Program provides comprehensive outpatient care and support to patients with heart disease. The program is designed to help clients achieve maximum physical and physiological well being through safe and appropriate exercise, education, risk factor modification and social interaction.

    About heart disease

    Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. It is caused by atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the coronary arteries, and may result in angina pectoris (chest pain) or heart attack. Some risk factors for heart disease cannot be controlled, such as advancing age, gender and heredity. However, many risk factors for heart disease can be modified by implementing healthy lifestyle choices.

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    Women's Heart Advantage

    Memorial Medical Center is committed to improving the health and quality of life for women in our community and has joined the Sutter Health network in promoting the Women’s Heart Advantage, an educational program sponsored by the doctors, nurses and hospitals in the Sutter Health family to raise awareness of heart disease in women and improve early detection and treatment. Visit our Heart Care Web Site.

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    Who may participate

    The Cardiac Independence Program is available to persons who have experienced a heart attack, hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, heart surgery, congestive heart failure, angioplasty, stent, heart or lung deconditioned states or chest pain. A physician's referral is required.

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    Special features

    • Physician-directed care: The Cardiac Independence staff regularly communicates each participant
    • Personalized exercise sessions: An individual exercise program is developed for each client. Clients participate in medically supervised exercise sessions that are staffed by registered nurses who help them review their exercise goals.
    • Education: Topics include: understanding heart disease, risk factor modification, nutrition, medication review and stress management.
    • Support group: Clients are invited to participate in a support group where they can share their experiences with others who have the same diagnosis.
    • Case management via telephone: The Cardiac Independence staff provides telephone follow-up, support, motivation and encouragement.

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    Know the symptoms

    Symptoms of heart disease may include:

    • Chest pain.
    • Pain that radiates up the neck and down the jaw.
    • Pain down the left arm or both arms.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Dizziness.
    • Cold, clammy sweats.
    • Vomiting accompanied by chest pain.

    Women tend to have more vague symptoms that are more difficult to diagnose. The incidence of heart disease in women increases after menopause.

    If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of a heart attack, such as uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes; pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms; or chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath, immediately call 911. If it is a heart attack, immediate treatment ensures the best chance of recovery.

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    Limit your risk

    The risk of developing heart disease can be reduced by making lifestyle changes.

    • Eat a diet that is low in cholesterol and sodium.
    • Maintain your blood pressure within normal limits.
    • Become physically active.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Don't smoke.
    • If you have diabetes, take steps to control it.

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    Other Links

    The Heart Coalition of Stanislaus County Opens new window.

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