Dr. Shahzad Ahmed, director of Cardiovascular Medicine & Cardiac Catheterization
Laboratory at Lower Bucks Hospital, is an interventional cardiologist
whose expertise include coronary interventions, peripheral vascular disease,
preventive cardiology and structural heart disease. He sees thousands
of patients annually and has agreed to answer some of the common questions
about coronary artery disease and heart attacks for our readers.
About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have coronary artery disease
(about 6.7%). In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40
seconds. Every year, about 805,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these,
605,000 are a first heart attack, 200,000 happen to people who have already
had a heart attack.
“About 1 in 5 heart attacks is
silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it,” Dr.
How we can control blood pressure and high cholesterol?
Dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) is a well-studied approach
to control blood pressure. Adding green vegetables, salads, nuts and a
low-salt diet can help with heart health. Avoiding processed meat, dairy
products, butter, fried foods, cheese and bakery items is helpful in prevention.
Everyone over the age of 20 should have their blood pressure, glucose
and cholesterol checked.
What diet do you recommend to decrease the risk of heart disease?
There are many studies looking into what are the best diets to prevent
the heart disease, but the Mediterranean Diet has consistently demonstrated
more benefits than any other diet plans. The Mediterranean Diet contains
greens, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grain, fish, poultry and olive oil.
What do you do if you develop heart disease?
Heart disease commonly refers to the narrowing of heart arteries. If you
develop blockage in your heart arteries, you should seek an opinion from
a cardiologist. Many times, blockages are treated with medicine, but sometime
arteries need to be opened with a small mesh called stents or by other
What is your recommendation regarding exercise?
It is well studied that exercise reduces the risk of heart and vascular
disease. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology
recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. The exercise can
be performed for five days for 30 minutes or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise.
Exercise helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Reference and Reading
Dr. Ahmed is board certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular
Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology, Vascular Ultrasound and
Internal Medicine. He is a Fellow of American College of Cardiology (FACC)
in 2019 and a member of the Society of Cardiovascular Interventions (SCAI).
He completed internal medicine, cardiovascular and interventional cardiology
residency Drexel University College of Medicine, where he was awarded
"Fellow of the Year.” He was appointed Assistant Professor
of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Under his leadership,
Lower Bucks Hospital has started many new programs, including same-day
discharge after percutaneous coronary intervention and implementing the
radial cardiac catheterization performed through arteries in the hand.
Dr. Ahmed is currently accepting new patients at BMC Cardiology Practice
on 501 Bath Road in Bristol. For more information or to schedule an appointment,
please call 215-785-5100.