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Happy Childhood Helps Heart Health

Summary: A happy childhood can reduce risk of heart disease.
Air Date: 4/8/16
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: Jennifer Haythe, MD
Dr. Jennifer HaytheDr. Jennifer Haythe is a practicing Cardiologist as well as the Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, Co-Director for the Women’s Center for Cardiovascular Health, Director of the Adult Pulmonary Hypertension Center and Director of Cardiac Obstetric Service.

Born in New York City, and raised in both Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut, Dr. Haythe used her competitiveness and determination as a horseback rider at Greenwich Academy to excel at academics as well. Never one to sit still for long, Dr. Haythe knew early on that a regular desk job would not work for her. Drawing on an early love of science and desire to help others made pursuing a career in the medical field a natural fit.

Dr. Haythe went earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and went on to complete her medical training and residency at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003. Initially planning a career in Pulmonary Critical Care, Dr. Haythe decided to switch to Cardiology after speaking with her mentor Dr. Donna Mancini.

Upon completing a fellowship for congestive-heart failure-cardiac transplants in 2005 (under Dr. Mancini), and cardiovascular diseases fellowship in 2009, Dr. Haythe began practicing at Columbia University Medical Center. Her specialties include pulmonary hypertension, heart failure and cardiac transplant.

Despite Cardiology being a heavily male dominated medical field, Dr. Haythe has become a sought after specialist in New York City, with particular interest in both chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and the care of pregnant women with cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Haythe continues to find her own motivation and determination through the strong patient and family relationships she has forged, and the gratification of helping her patients get a new life with a heart transplant or assist devices, allowing patients to be able to live a full life with their families, as well as helping pregnant women safely deliver children and be able to care for them with post-delivery health care.

Dr. Haythe lives and practices in New York City. When not working, she enjoys an active lifestyle that includes running, boxing and yoga, as well as spending time with her husband, Eli and their two children.
Happy Childhood Helps Heart Health
A recent study showed that children who had a happier childhood were less likely to suffer from coronary artery calcification.

Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is the the result of calcium deposits in coronary arteries. CAC causes blood vessels to narrow and harden over time.

The study, which was conducted in Finland, analyzed children between three and 18 years and looked at them again 27 years later.

Researchers took into consideration the socioeconomic status of the family, the emotional well-being of the family, parental health, stressful events, and the ability to self regulate attention. The more positives they had in these areas, the better their heart health later in life.

Cardiologist Dr. Jennifer Haythe joins Dr. Leigh to discuss how childhood happiness (or lack thereof) affects heart health in adulthood.