Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell, aka Dr. BCW. Today, I want to talk about a crucial topic that affects many of us: reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. A new study has shed light on how a specific program is making a difference without significantly increasing healthcare costs.

Understanding the Risk Reduction Program

A recent study published in JAMA highlights the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model. This initiative, launched by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in 2017, pays healthcare organizations to track and manage cardiac risks in Medicare patients. The program focuses on key risk factors like high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking status, and diabetes.

Promising Results

The latest research involving over 130,000 participants (excluding the control group) shows a 0.3% reduction in first-time stroke and heart attack risks over five years. Interestingly, this initiative only increased Medicare spending by an average of $2.11 per recipient, indicating a cost-effective approach to managing heart health.

Importance for Diverse Populations

One notable aspect of this study is the higher percentage of Black participants identified as medium or high risk. Of course this is not always the case. As a healthcare professional, I believe that addressing this requires a combination of effective risk reduction models and community outreach. It’s about enhancing health literacy and ensuring that individuals feel comfortable discussing their health concerns.

Challenges and Future Directions

Despite these positive developments, we face challenges, such as data accuracy and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare delivery. Further research and refinement of these models are essential to maximize their effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

The Million Hearts Model’s success in reducing cardiac risks is a step forward in our fight against heart disease. It’s vital for healthcare providers to continue exploring and improving these models, making heart health a priority for all, especially in underserved communities.

Remember, heart health is crucial at every stage of life.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)

Gestational Diabetes

Hi, it’s Dr. Curry-Winchell. Today, I want to discuss a significant health issue that often goes undiscussed. Gestational diabetes, especially as it pertains to the Black maternal health crisis in the United States.

In honor of National Diabetes Month and the current Maternal Health crisis I partnered with She Knows to highlight this growing concern. You can find my article from She Knows HERE

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that can develop during pregnancy. It is usually diagnosed through screening between the 24th and 28th weeks. The exact cause is not fully understood, it’s thought to be linked to hormonal changes in pregnancy. Symptoms can be subtle, such as increased thirst and frequent urination, or non-existent, making it a potentially silent threat.

The condition not only affects mothers by increasing the likelihood of complications like premature birth and cesarean sections, but it also impacts infants, who may face respiratory difficulties, future obesity, and a higher diabetes risk later in life.

The Impact on Black Maternal Health

Alarmingly, gestational diabetes is a gateway to type 2 diabetes postpartum. Research shows that Black women are disproportionately diagnosed with type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes, this disparity could be due to a lack of consistent screenings post-childbirth, as symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to typical postpartum recovery.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition where the pancreas either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the body becomes insulin resistant. This can lead to severe health issues, including vision loss, nerve damage, and increased risk of kidney and heart diseases — conditions that already have a higher mortality rate among Black individuals.

The Importance of Advocacy and Screening

Advocacy is crucial in addressing this health crisis. The healthcare system’s systemic racism and unconscious biases often lead to the dismissal of Black women’s pain and concerns. I speak from personal experience. As a physician within the healthcare system, I encountered life-threatening challenges during my childbirth due to my pain being overlooked.

For those diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it’s critical to request diabetes screenings after giving birth. As healthcare providers, we must confront unconscious biases and eradicate race-based medicine to improve health outcomes for all mothers and children.

In conclusion, while gestational diabetes is a complex condition with profound implications for maternal health, awareness and proactive management can lead to better outcomes. Help spread awareness, share this article with loved ones and those that can benefit from the information. Increased health literacy gives everyone a better opportunity to advocate for their own health. Greater awareness helps bring light to disparities and of course helps bring change.

Stay informed and prioritize your health!

– Dr. Curry-Winchell (Dr. BCW)


Ibuprofen 30 Days in a Row

thisDr BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, shares what Happens When You Take Ibuprofen 30 Days in a Row with BestLife

read the full Eat This Not That article here

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Motrin, Midol, Advil, and Addaprin—these are all brand names of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ibuprofen, and many of us keep a bottle or two of this medicine in the bathroom cabinet in case of headaches, cramps, or other minor discomforts. In addition to the over-the-counter (OTC) version that can be grabbed off the shelf, prescription ibuprofen was also the 38th most prescribed drug in the U.S. as of 2020, so a lot of us are taking it. But just because it’s popular and easy to obtain, does that mean it’s safe to take every day? We asked a doctor. Read on to see what might happen to your body if you take this drug every day for a month or more.

Bayo Curry-Winchell, MD, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician at Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital, shared with Best Life, “As an urgent care and family medicine physician, I often recommend a short course of ibuprofen to my patients because it can help alleviate symptoms such as fever, headache, and/or body aches. However, taking the drug for a prolonged time can cause you to develop serious complications.” One of those is tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. Curry-Winchell says tinnitus can be brought about “by ibuprofen reducing the amount of blood that flows to the inner ear.”

See what else Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, has to share as she answers this question for BestLife.  It is an important topic, so please review.

Doctors Wish You Knew About Avoiding Cancer

Dr BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, shares The #1 Thing Doctors Wish You Knew About Avoiding Cancer for Good.  Don’t miss this article.

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  • Alcohol use and current smoking are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.
  • A low-fat dietary pattern, which includes increase in fruits, vegetables, and grains, may reduce risk of death from breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
  • Regular, moderate physical activity may provide modest protection against breast cancer.”

In addition, getting annual mammograms helps detect cancer early and increases the chances of survival. Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital says, “The recommended age to start screening for breast cancer varies per society, organization, or governmental health agency. In our country, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening at the age of 50 versus the American Cancer Society who recommends screening at the age of 40. It’s important to note, women should weigh the benefits and risks of screening tests when deciding whether to begin getting mammograms before age 50.”

See what else Dr. Curry-Winchell has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss this important topic.  It could save your life.

RSV Surge, Hospitals are Overwhelmed

Dr. BCW talks RSV Surge as Hospitals are overwhelmed. Here’s What You Need to Know.

read the full Eat This, Not That article here

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With the holidays around the corner and RSV on the rise, health officials are urging people to take precautions. “Unlike Covid, R.S.V. can spread when people touch contaminated surfaces, “Emily Martin, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health told the New York Times.  “It also spreads through respiratory droplets. So it’s a good idea to disinfect surfaces, particularly in settings like day care centers, where young children are constantly touching things, sneezing on things and sticking them in their mouths.”

While recent headlines are often about young children getting RSV, anyone can catch the virus and everyone is advised to take steps to avoid getting sick. “It’s important to know that RSV can affect all ages,”  Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital tells us. “It’s a viral illness that has a wide range of symptoms and severity that can resemble the common cold or respiratory distress (a term used to describe a display of struggling to breath that requires emergency care and hospitalization). Those under the age of one, or over the age of 65, or someone with underlying health conditions such as lung disease (asthma) are at an increased risk for complications.”…

See what else Dr. BCW has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss RSV surge hospitals are overwhelmed

Breast Cancer Signs Woman Over 50 Should Know

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, shares Signs of Breast Cancer Every Woman Over 50 Should Know with Eat This, Not That.

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…This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.” Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share what to know about breast cancer and signs to watch out for. As always, please consult your physician for medical advice. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

…, Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital tells us, “This is complicated, the high rate is due to several reasons including access to mammogram screenings, limited resources within health literacy and late diagnosis. At this time, a breast cancer diagnosis in Black/African American versus White individuals are the same. However, it is extremely important to note, Black/African Americans are dying at a disproportionate higher rate…”

See what else Dr. Curry-Winchell has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss signs of Breast Cancer Every Woman Over 50 Should Know

5 Life-Saving Flu Tips Doctors Want You to Know

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, shares 5 Life-Saving Tips Doctors Want You to Know About the Flu as Cases Rise with Eat This, Not That.

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Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital explains, “We have seen an increase in the number of flu cases earlier than we have seen in the past which is concerning. Right now, it’s really hard to determine how deadly this season will be.”

Dr. Mark Fischer, Regional Medical Director at International SOS tells us, ”

According to the CDC, there’s been 1,300 deaths caused by the flu so far this season. This year’s flu season came earlier than we’re used to and has been proven to be more severe than we’ve seen in recent years. It remains too early in the flu season to determine if this year will be more deadly. It is essential to stay up to date with all of the recommended vaccinations.”

This is When You’re Most Contagious, Dr. Curry-Winchell explains, “You are most likely to transmit the flu virus in the first three to four days after your symptoms have started. The best piece of advice is to stay home if you’re feeling sick at all.” Dr. Mourani says, “The flu is most contagious in the first 3-4 days of symptoms but can be from 1 day before symptoms and up to 7 days….”

See what else Dr. BCW has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss 5 life-saving tips doctors want you to know about.

7 Ways to Stay Healthier Than Everyone Else

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, shares 7 Ways to Stay Healthier Than Everyone Else with Eat This, Not That

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Lifestyle choices go a long way in protecting your overall well-being and reducing the risk of serious health issues like some cancers, dementia, diabetes and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Ninety percent of the nearly 18 million heart disease cases worldwide could be prevented by people adopting a healthier diet, doing regular exercise, and not smoking.”

In addition, the Cleveland Clinic states, “Heart disease is 90 percent treatable – everyone can prevent heart disease anywhere in the world, especially by eating foods that are low in salt and cholesterol, exercising regularly, and not smoking,” said Leslie Cho, M.D., Section Head for Preventive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic. “Even if a person has a family history of heart disease, we can still prevent and treat heart disease thanks to incredible advances in medicine.”

Smart lifestyle choices can also help prevent other major health concerns. Harvard Health states, “A study published this summer in the Journal Neurology followed over 70,000 health professionals for more than two decades. Those who reported eating a diet high in colorful fruits and vegetables had a significantly lower risk of subjective memory loss — which is a sign of dementia — compared with those who did not.”

See what else Dr. Curry-Winchell, has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss

Equitable, quality pain treatment for Black people

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, discusses how we can work on ensuring equitable, quality treatment of pain in Black and marginalized people and reviews her recent TEDx talk which discusses historical distrust of the healthcare system with black and other minority groups.

read the full Nevada Independent article here

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In my recent TEDx Talk titled, Why Black Patients Don’t Trust the Healthcare System , I explored racially-based medical algorithms and their impact on health outcomes for Black patients. As a physician, I believe such algorithms have no place in the modern healthcare system, as they can affect how Black patients are diagnosed, as well as the morbidity and mortality rates in the community.

A study published as recently as 2016 by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science showed that 40 percent of first- and second-year medical students endorsed the false belief that “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s,” and that trainees who believed Black people are not as sensitive to pain as white people were less likely to treat Black people’s pain appropriately. Another troubling report found that Black children diagnosed with appendicitis (which is extremely painful), were less likely to get pain medication in the emergency room than white children.

There is also the issue of the misguided notion that if someone is in pain, they must “present” (look and sound) a certain way. For Black patients, especially, if you don’t look tired or pained, or display a discernibly dismayed facial expression, a practitioner may assume you are not in pain. Yet pain cannot be placed in a lane in this way. There are various components that make up the experience of, and reaction to, pain — and unfortunately for people of color that’s not….

See what else Dr. BCW has to say in the full Nevada Independent article linked above.

Don’t downplay monkeypox — here’s what you should know

Dr. BCW, Dr. Curry-Winchell, warns the Nevada Independent, Don’t downplay monkeypox — here’s what you should know.

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As cases of monkeypox infections continue to climb across the country, U.S. officials have declared the virus a public health emergency and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a global health emergency. These recent declarations are vital efforts to help increase awareness about this public health threat, as monkeypox has often been downplayed and stigmatized as a disease that can only infect those within the LGBTQ+ community.

This is erroneous. Monkeypox — though usually not fatal — is highly contagious and can be contracted and spread by anyone.

Monkeypox and the vaccine used to prevent it have been around for decades. However, we are now seeing a resurgence of the virus as well as other once-eradicated infectious diseases. The reasons are multi-faceted, including delays in regular health screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic, less access to the monkeypox vaccine, misinformation about the virus, and a general distrust of vaccines.

What it is and isn’t

To combat the spread of monkeypox, it is critical to understand what it is, and is not.

Monkeypox is a virus that can be spread from person-to-person by direct contact with a rash during intimate, skin-to-skin contact or by touching items that have been handled by an infected person. Sharing towels, clothes or drinking cups, as well as kissing, hugging or dancing with someone who has monkeypox, are all possible modes of transmitting the virus.

Monkeypox isn’t just contracted through close, intimate physical contact, though. It is also transmissible through respiratory secretions and droplets. For example, if an infected person who has lesions in their mouth coughs, it is possible for the virus to transmit to others around them….

See what else Dr. Curry-Winchell, has to share as she answers questions for Eat This, Not That as they discuss