Top Docs: Profiles

Meet 11 of our 2007 Top Doctors.

October 2007

Dr. John J. Reusch Jr.

Cardiovascular Disease
Colorado Permanente Medical Group P.C., Kaiser Franklin Medical Center, Good Samaritan, St. Joseph—Practicing for 21 years

Colorado Statistic While Colorado has the third-lowest rate of heart disease in the nation, it is still the leading cause of death in the state, killing more than 6,000 Coloradans annually.

"In Colorado, we are better than national levels when it comes to weight, and better than the national averages when it comes to smoking. That is probably why our cardiovascular disease rate is lower. That probably explains it, but it isn't a reason to celebrate. We still have too many people who are overweight, who don't exercise enough—four days a week is a minimum—who don't eat a heart-healthy diet, and about 20 percent to 30 percent of people smoke. The heart is such a central organ. It's the sign of life. Fortunately, people will often have some warning symptoms. One of the things that's amazing about heart disease is that it's a real life-changing event and people are in a position to really look at their lifestyle. It's often a family thing, where if they have involvement and support from the family they generally do much better. Trying to resume a normal life after you've had a heart problem is challenging, and lifestyle can help you to feel healthier and to have an image of a healthy person."

Scary Thought "I am concerned with the increased rates in younger people. We're seeing some awfully young people with heart attacks, and most of those risks and problems come from lifestyle."

Best Health Advice "Making exercise part of your life is one of the most important things you can do. First of all, everything counts. Look for any way that you can fit it in your life. Park a little farther away from the door. Take the stairs. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least four times a week that causes you to huff and puff and break a sweat."