“In our country, I think the way we live, the environment we live in, the foods we eat predispose us to that,” Guthrie Cardiologist, Vincent LaDelia, MD said.
According to the CDC, about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year; that’s one in every four deaths.
“High cholesterol, high blood pressure, stressful lifestyle all of these things add to ones risk,” Dr. LaDelia said.
Add smoking to that list and about half of Americans have a least one of those factors. Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use can also lead you down that path.
“Family history is our strongest risk factor, so if you have multiple family members who have coronary disease, hear attacks, bipass surgery,” Dr. LaDelia said.
Understanding the symptoms of heart disease is critical.
“Chest discomfort, pressure, especially chest pressure with activity, increasing shortness of breath and fatigue with activity, stamina going down; these can all be signs of a heart problem,” Dr. LaDelia said.
After a cardiac event, there are things you can do to avoid a future event.
“There are many things we can do, diet helps, but there are medicines that are specifically targeted to bring down your LDL. They’re very powerful, they work very well. There are side effects that occur with them, but they’re pretty rare,” Dr. LaDelia said.
One by one, as you address those things, the risk of a future event gets lower and lower.