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Matters of the heart

Feb. 2, 2012
With February being American Heart Month as well as the time for celebrating Valentine’s Day, FOCUS Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, reminds us that the heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral and the intellectual core of a human being. This issue deals with the topics of heart and those we love while addressing cardiovascular disease, heart disease among the sexes, and those suffering with dementia.
By Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
The heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, also intellectual core of a human being. As the heart was once widely believed to be the seat of the human mind, the word heart continues to be used poetically to refer to the soul, and stylized depictions of hearts are used as prevalent symbols representing love.
February is American Heart Month and February 14 is Valentine's Day! Heart disease is the number one cause of death. About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event. (
The likelihood of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. In addition, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are critical to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future. For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (
The American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Red Cross, and the National Council on Aging have launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms ( Sex differences important to health and human disease occur in the womb and throughout the life span, affecting behavior, perception, and health. Heart health is no different. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) published a report that states that sex must be considered in all aspects and at all levels of biomedical research. Read the section in this newsletter on sex-based differences in heart health.

We must also remember those we love and care about, especially this month. It breaks our hearts to see loved ones suffer, as Maureen Chodaba explains in her story about her parents. It is a very touching story, and I thank Maureen for sharing it with us. The “present-absence” and the long-good-bye of Alzheimer’s disease is truly heart-breaking. Remember the good times.

In closing, I want to tell you about an upcoming conference. The National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice is pleased to host the CE Mini-Conference, "Advances in Practice," which will be held June 12-13, 2012, immediately preceding the ADHA Annual Session in Phoenix. The program will be held at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa, AZ, located about 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix. The registration fee will cover transportation to and from the ADHA convention hotel to the school, as well as breakfast, lunch, breaks, and course materials.

Participants will receive 9 CE credits for participation. Registration is limited to 75 people, so be sure to register early. The preliminary program and registration forms are available on the dhnet ( Please contact Jane Forrest ([email protected]) or Ann Eshenaur Spolarich ([email protected]) for additional information.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS introductions by Editorial Director Maria Perno Goldie, go to introductions.