Unique specialty comes to Vernon

Dr. Blair Beltzer stresses importance of taking care of the 'second half' of life

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  • A detailed close-up view of a device that Dr. Blair Beltzer uses to show the early and advanced stages of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis in an artery.

  • In his downtown Vernon offices, Dr. Blair Beltzer describes the various stages of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis with the help of a device that shows the early and advanced stages of the disease in an artery.

VERNON — Sitting in a clean and cozy examination room overlooking Vernon’s Firemen’s Pavilion Pond, Blair R. Beltzer, M.D., once again explains his recurring theme about the importance of taking care of one’s self during the “second” half of one’s life.

The first half is a state of usually being in good health, and the second half requiring awareness and a determination to live a healthy, longevity-promoting life.

On the wall hangs a framed certificate that bears testament to the fact that as of last July, Dr. Beltzer is one of only 23 New Jersey physicians to have been designated a “diplomate” by the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. At the time, he also was one of only about 725 to ever have been so recognized.

"By having an expertise in lipid management, it can definitely be very important to be able to prevent cardiovascular disease and atheroscleroisis, which can lead to heart attack and stroke," Beltzer said.

He attributes out-of-control lipids for causing heart attacks, due to plaque buildup.

Atherosclerosis, which is a hardening and narrowing of the arteries, is a progressive process that silently and slowly blocks arteries and impedes blood flow in the body. It is the most common cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in the United States with more than 800,000 deaths annually. Dr. Beltzer also has a certification in addiction and handles each of his patients on a personal level rather than having staff members work as a go between.

Dr. Beltzer’s highly specialized training in lipidology required trips to Toronto, Canada, Chicago and North Carolina.

"Lipidology is an expertise in the prevention of cardiovascular disease by modulating and calling attention to people's risk factors," he said.

With a theme of “Family medicine for the entire family,” Dr. Beltzer’s practice focuses on patients of any age. However, older Americans can most benefit from his particular attention toward maintaining good health through smoking cessation and cholesterol level control. He also is a strong supporter of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, fish and seafood as well as whole grains, while limiting sources of unhealthy fats. Olive oil and even red wines are part of the diet.

In addition to older patients, he also believes that special attention, including having a lipid profile, should be paid to younger people in the 9-11 and 17-21-year-old age groups. As an example of a younger person who should have a lipid profile, he cited a young child who is obese, which may indicate lipid problems that require the attention of a specially trained physician. He mentioned in particular that the “super sizing” of food portions has contributed to health problems in younger patients. Parents who bring their children for blood work also are encouraged to bring in copies of their own test results to help in identifying potential hereditary health problems.

On a local level, he said believes he is the only doctor around who has a very structured smoking cessation program that is a certified program that he personally handles with each patient, rather than enlisting the services of staff members. He believes that his program has a good success rate for anyone who commits to the program through the psychodynamics of change and addiction.

Dr. Beltzer has been in Vernon for seven years and has offices in Wayne on alternating days. His local offices are in the Lakeland Bank building at 529 Route 515, Suite 104. Office hours are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments should be made a week in advance, whenever possible, by calling 973-831-0006.

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