Heart disease and strokes kill approximately 19 million people every single year.

The World Heart Federation uses September 29, titled “World Heart Day,” to draw people’s attention to heart illnesses and all associated heart/health issues. This day, first created 20 years ago, aims to inform and educate individuals on risk factors, and it emphasizes the actions people can take to prevent/control heart disease.

Question: What are some risk factors that can be controlled?

Answer: Tobacco usage, lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet

According to the World Heart Federation, by improving these three factors, about 80% of premature deaths related to heart disease and strokes can be prevented. 

Dr. Brian Riegel, a Great Lakes Cardiovascular physician, recommends that older patients or those with a family history of heart issues go for a check-up regularly with a cardiovascular specialist. He offers great and easy ways for people to keep their heart healthy. 

He also recommends a healthy diet and at least 30 minutes of physical activity to help improve heart health. In addition, Dr. Riegel recommends staying away from secondhand smoke/quitting smoking, managing your diabetes, managing your alcohol consumption, and minimizing your salt intake to keep your heart in shape.

On World Heart Day, take care of your ticker; you only get one! 

Make sure your heart is in good hands, not only on World Heart Day, but every day. Visit Great Lakes Cardiovascular and schedule an appointment with an expert cardiologist today. 


Dr. Rohini Thodge has been a pediatrician since 1985. Her patients range in age from newborn to 21 years old, which gives her plenty of time to form strong, trusting relationships with not only the little ones in her care, but their families, too. 

When Dr. Thodge meets a newborn patient for the first time, she checks in with the parents first to find out how moms and dads are adjusting to the arrival of their new family member. She finds that first-time parents often have concerns that aren’t adequately covered in books or online resources, something Dr. Thodge herself experienced as a new mother. That’s why she’ll take the time to talk about feeding, baths, rashes, crying, hiccups, or anything else keeping new parents up at night. 

One of Dr. Thodge’s favorite parts of her job is watching her littlest patients go from being tiny babies just a few weeks old to eventually walking into her office and talking up a storm. As children get older, she’ll talk through milestones with parents, check to make sure kids are meeting motor, speech, and mental indicators, and work with families to find early intervention resources if she suspects delays. 

When Dr. Thodge isn’t taking care of her young patients, she likes to listen to Indian music and the radio, read in her native Marathi language, and work out. Exercise is her passion, and she usually fits in a combination of cardio, strength, and stretching five or six days a week. Without it, she says, she just doesn’t feel her best. 


3898 Vineyard Dr., Ste. 3 • Dunkirk, NY 14048 


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The reasons why Dr. Avani Kanneganti became a doctor in the first place are the same reasons why she still loves her job today: By connecting an intricate set of symptoms and information, she can help patients avoid serious illness later.

Dr. Kanneganti enjoys the complexity and diversity of medicine. As a primary care physician, she concentrates on all the systems of the body, combining careful observation, patient concerns, vital statistics, and medical histories to address medical issues before they become catastrophic. She is diligent about catching warning signs of cancer early while it’s still treatable, controlling diabetes before medication is required, or lowering blood pressure so it doesn’t become a heart attack. Dr. Kanneganti says healthy habits are a huge part of prevention and include exercising for at least 30 minutes most days (if not every day), focusing food on produce and lean protein, and cutting back or quitting smoking – a change that patients have to be willing and ready to make on their own. 

 When it comes to lifestyle choices aimed at disease prevention, Dr. Kanneganti practices what she preaches – and truly enjoys her healthy habits. She likes cooking from scratch and is most comfortable preparing the Indian recipes she grew up with. She spends as much time outdoors as possible, especially in the summer, and loves to work out with a combination of cardio and strength training. To save time and money – a tip she shares with patients – Dr. Kanneganti opts to sweat it out at home rather than joining a gym. 


3898 Vineyard Dr., Ste. 1, Dunkirk, NY 14048 


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Same-Day Appointments Available