It's no surprise the New Orleans is considered one of the most "unhealthy" cities in the country but cardiologists from around the world say the American Heart Association convention is a chance to bring awareness about heart health.
The Convention Center is packed with 30,000 medical elite from around the world. "There's some contradictions here of course. The food's great and it may not be all that heart healthy, but we get to run up and down this very long convention center counterbalance the effects of the andouille sausage and chicken gumbo I had last night." Doctor Gordon Tomaselli with the American Heart Association says this year's AHA convention is highlighting a number of medical breakthroughs. "The statin drugs, the drugs that lower lipids, have been shown to be effective in preventing cardiac arrests, and one of the trials that was reported yesterday was the jupiter trial," he says.
But the convention is also highlighting the medical needs of new orleans post-Katrina. "Well, so stress, particularly depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, especially heart attacks." Tulane Epidemiologist Lydia Bazzano says New Orleans still has a shortage of health professionals, but the AHA convention may help change that. "We need to show them the city is not underwater, the city is not still a disaster area, because we need to get more good people into the city to amass the proper amount of healthcare for everybody," she says.
In the meantime, nationally known Doctor Mehmet Oz, otherwise known as Doctor Oz on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," says New Orleanians can take their heart health into their own hands. "The only way New Orleans will really get back on it's feet is if it makes itself healthy .. you're not going to legislate health from Washington or anywhere else. You have to get healthy in your families and your communities."
there was actually some encouraging news about new orleans.
doctor bazzano says our obesity rates have actually decreased a bit since last year.