Ask the Doctor: Heart Health - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Ask the Doctor: Heart Health

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The focus of Ask the Doctor tonight is cardiology. Dr. Kosta Arger is a cardiologist with Saint Mary's Cardiology. To speak with him tonight, dial 775-858-2222. Lines are open from 5-6pm. For future questions,  call 775-770-7622 or visit www.saintmarysmedicalgroup.com

During the month of February, Americans see the human heart as the symbol of love. February is American Heart Month, a time to show yourself some love. 

Why is it so important to be heart healthy?

Cardiovascular disease-including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure-is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the U.S. each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 of these deaths could have been prevented through lifestyle changes.

What are some lifestyle changes we can make to prevent heart disease?
Simple lifestyle changes like being more active, eating a balanced diet and quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent. There are also five critical numbers that promote heart health:

1.    BLOOD SUGAR - If your fasting blood sugar is below 100, you are in the healthy range. If not, the results can lead to diabetes or pre-diabetes.

2.    BLOOD PRESSURE - Keep it under 130/80 mm Hg. High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is dangerous because it makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body.

3.    CHOLESTEROL - Keep LDL (bad) cholesterol levels below 100 mg/dL. When too much LDL cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.

4.    BODY MASS INDEX - Keep it under 25. BMI provides a reliable indicator used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

5.    WAISTLINE - Keep it under 40" for men and 35" for women. A high waist circumference and too much abdominal fat puts you at high risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

How can someone determine if they are at risk for heart disease?

For those who are unsure if they are at risk for heart disease, I suggest getting a heart screening with a cardiologist that includes a consultation, a lipid panel, an EKG and a CT scan for early detection of CAD. We are offering them for $99 at Saint Mary's throughout the month of February. Patients can call 775-770-7335 for more information or to schedule.

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