Cardiologists educate cyclists about heart health

When it comes to heart health, two Hollywood Private Hospital cardiologists are practising what they preach.

Dr Richard Alcock and Dr Jon Spiro are self-professed exercise enthusiasts who both cycle regularly.

Dr Spiro rides with local cycling group ‘the Frommers’, which has more than 60 members.

Dr Alcock, who has completed five Ironman distance triathlons, said the cycling community in Perth is extremely popular and continuing to grow.

“There has been a proliferation of cycling clubs in WA, which is great for the cardiovascular health of members,” Dr Alcock said.

“However, a lack of exercise is not the only risk-factor for developing heart disease, and certainly a sports-paradox does exist – cycling does not make one immune to heart disease.

“It is essential to check other risk factors for heart disease such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure.”

Sadly, the Frommers and other Perth cycling clubs have lost two members following cardiac episodes recently.

“Both men were extremely fit, and exceptional cyclists,” Dr Alcock said.

In an effort to raise awareness about heart health, Dr Spiro and Dr Alcock presented a lecture to the Frommers members at Hollywood Private Hospital on Tuesday, August 10.

“Many of our members fall into the at-risk categories, which simply include being male and getting older,” Dr Spiro said.

“While exercise is important, it is essential that we all know the status of our other cardiovascular risk factors, particularly cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

“The key messages from ourlecture is tosee your GP, know what your heart risk is, and if you have any symptoms whilst cycling, get it checked out.”

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Peter Mott, who is a member of the Frommers group, said cycling is the new golf, particularly amongst busy healthcare workers. 

“With over 2000 employees and 200 active doctors on the Hollywood campus, we do a range of things to promote a healthy lifestyle,” Mr Mott said.

Mr Mott said the hospital would be a comprehensive facility for heart health with the opening of a $67 million emergency department later this year.

The new ED will complement a multi-million dollar cardiothoracictheatre,which was launched last year.

“Patients who present at the ED with heart problems can be referred to a cardiologist or a cardiothoracic surgeon,” Mr Mott said.

“They will also have access to the latest technology and techniques in our new cardiothoracic theatre and soon-to-be expanded cardiac catheter laboratory.”

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