Irving M. Levitas, 90, a former New Jersey internist and cardiologist who wrote a medical column for the Reston Connection newspaper, died May 27 at Reston Hospital of complications after surgery for an intestinal ailment. He retired to the Washington area in 1985 and lived in Reston.

In recent years, he served as health advocate for the Northern Virginia American Association of Retired Persons and lectured at George Mason University's Learning in Retirement Institute on subjects such as slowing the aging process.

Before retiring, Dr. Levitas, author of the 1975 book "You Can Beat the Odds on a Heart Attack," had a private practice in his native Westwood, N.J.

He was affiliated with the Hackensack Medical Center for more than 50 years, and he was a founder of the center's Cardiac Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. Levitas was a graduate of Dartmouth College and received a medical degree from what is now State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

He served in the Army during World War II.

His first wife, Ethel Levitas, died in 1953. His marriage to Phoebe Hudson ended in divorce, and his third wife, Margaret Levitas, died in 1984.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia Vennett Levitas of Reston; three children from his first marriage, John H., of Utica, N.Y., Betty Ann Rubin of Reston and Jane Susan Knox of Storrs, Conn.; three stepchildren, Jay Vennett of Arlington, Mark Vennett of Tampa and Meg Oakleaf of Syracuse, N.Y.; a sister; 12 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.