Heart Awareness Month: Tips to prevent heart disease

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in the United States with 650 thousand deaths annually. Nearly one million American suffer a heart attack each year which correlates to someone suffering a heart attack every forty seconds.

“One in five of these people will be silent and about fifteen percent of these people there first heart attack is their only heart attack,” said Dr. Paul Conley with Plateau Health. “Meaning they don’t recover, they have a heart attack they were out in field or at home and unfortunately they don’t survive.”

Dr. Conley says that silent heat attack victims are those who do not show the typical symptoms of chest pains and pressure on the chest. Instead the victims show very little or minor symptoms such as shortness of breath and don’t realize they are having a heart attack.

“These are all signs and symptoms of something we call angina,” Dr. Conley said. “Which may mean that you have a blockage in one of the arteries that goes to your heart. If you have symptoms such as this, then by all means you want to have this discussion with your doctor and then we can do a work up. Which may mean a tracing of your heart called an EKG, an imaging of your test, an echo, and then we’ll think about a stress test.”

In order to prevent heart disease there are measures you can take such as not smoking, exercising, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure no higher than 130 over 80.

“Something we all can do is exercise more,” said Dr. Conley. “When you look at the American Heart Association, they recommend thirty minutes of exercise, if you can, five days a week. Eat better eat right try to decrease fast food, high fat foods, greasy foods. More fruits more vegetables, fish things like that incorporate into our diet.”

On Friday February 5th health experts and others will be wearing red to help remind people of the dangers of heat disease and how to prevent it.