Rolling Out

Unlocking the secrets to heart health and cholesterol awareness with Nihar Desai, MD, MPH and Latrice Baxter

Heart health wisdom from cardiovascular disease patient advocate Latrice Baxter & Yale University’s Dr. Nihar Desai on Health IQ: A must-read on family history, cholesterol, and proactive strategies
Heart Health Awareness: Unlocking the secrets to heart health and cholesterol awareness
Join cardiovascular disease patient advocate Latrice Baxter and Dr. Nihar Desai from Yale School of Medicine in a Candid Discussion on Family History, Cholesterol Awareness, and Proactive Health Strategies

As February marks Heart Health Awareness Month, Latrice Baxter, a cardiovascular disease patient advocate, shares her triumphant personal journey with rolling out’s Health IQ. Offering a medical perspective, Nihar Desai, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Vice Chief of the Section of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, provides valuable medical advice, solutions, and practical guidance during this episode as well.

Baxter, a native of Tennessee, reveals how she silently grappled with untreated high cholesterol for a decade, often facing minimized concerns from healthcare providers due to her identity as a Black woman. Today, under the care of a new doctor and effectively managing her high LDL-C with a new medication, Baxter aims to bring attention to her experience. Her mission is to raise awareness about the concealed public health crisis surrounding heart health and the disparities faced by Black women.

In this episode of Health IQ, Munson Steed, the CEO and publisher, emphasizes the crucial role of actively engaging in well-being. He encourages individuals to document questions and emotions related to health issues. The central focus remains on heart health advocacy, featuring Latrice Baxter and Dr. Nihar Desai, as they stress the importance of understanding and addressing cardiovascular risks, particularly within underserved communities.

Read their interview below.

Munson Steed: Let’s kick things off with you, Dr. Desai. I’d like you and Latrice Baxter to share insights on the importance of heart health and your respective roles. Feel free to elaborate on the significance of cholesterol, and I’ll let you take the lead.

Nihar Desai, MD: Thank you. There’s a lot to cover, but let me start by emphasizing the importance of awareness in heart health and overall well-being. It begins early in life with considerations like diet and lifestyle. Latrice, with her background, will delve into the critical aspect of cholesterol and its impact on heart health. I encourage everyone to be aware of their numbers, specifically cholesterol levels, and engage with healthcare providers to determine the right measures for heart protection.

Steed: The beauty of Health IQ lies in the ongoing conversation. Setting health goals is paramount, and after today, I hope our audience considers setting these goals. Dr. Desai has set the stage, but let’s hear from Latrice Baxter, who brings a personal and valuable perspective to the discussion.

Latrice Baxter: Thank you, Munson. Heart disease has been prevalent in my family for generations. Despite my awareness and periodic check-ups, I didn’t fully grasp the significance of an elevated LDL cholesterol level in the past. This lack of urgency was partly due to a casual approach from my previous physician. However, I’ve learned the importance of connecting family history with personal health, emphasizing the need for constant awareness.

Steed: Dr. Desai, could you shed light on Latrice’s experience from a medical perspective and discuss how healthcare providers can better engage with patients in such situations?

Nihar Desai, MD: Latrice’s story is a crucial reminder of the need for open communication. Family history plays a pivotal role, and patients showing the courage to share such information should be commended. On the provider side, we must actively listen, conduct thorough clinical checkups, and initiate necessary interventions promptly. Latrice’s experience highlights the importance of urgency, especially when dealing with elevated cholesterol levels, a significant risk factor for vascular diseases.

Steed: Thank you, Dr. Desai. Latrice, your journey has provided valuable insights. Can you share more about your experience with cholesterol and how it manifested in your life?

Baxter: Certainly, Munson. Given my family history, cholesterol and heart issues were not unfamiliar. However, when diagnosed with elevated LDL cholesterol, I initially didn’t connect the dots personally. Looking back, I realize the need for immediate action and a more serious approach to address the situation. It’s crucial to draw the line and recognize that familial health issues can directly impact individuals.

Steed: Dr. Desai, Latrice’s story raises questions about the urgency of addressing elevated cholesterol levels, especially when there’s a family history of heart issues. Could you provide insights into the necessary protocols for individuals in similar situations?

Nihar Desai, MD: Absolutely, Munson. Latrice’s story underscores the urgency in addressing elevated cholesterol levels, particularly with a family history of heart disease. Healthcare providers should not only listen attentively but also act promptly, conducting necessary tests and initiating interventions. It’s essential for individuals to recognize the seriousness of elevated cholesterol levels and actively engage with their healthcare providers for appropriate guidance and treatment.

Steed: Thank you, Dr. Desai, and Latrice, for sharing your experiences and insights. This discussion emphasizes the importance of awareness, timely action, and open communication in promoting heart health. Stay tuned for more valuable insights on Health IQ.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out