Heart of the Valley: Exercise and proper diet can reduce risks of heart disease

2 months 16 hours 44 seconds ago Wednesday, February 14 2024 Feb 14, 2024 February 14, 2024 12:18 PM February 14, 2024 in News - Local

February is American Heart Month, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women.

But doctors say not all cases of heart disease are the same.

Medical experts with Valley Baptist Medical Center say exercise and a proper diet are one of the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.

High blood pressure, family history and smoking are some things that can contribute to heart disease over a period of time.

Smoking is also a major risk factor for heart disease, but it doesn't affect everyone the same way.

Doctors say last year they saw about 400 cases of patients suffering from cardiac arrest. Experts say when someone goes into cardiac arrest, their heart stops pumping blood. 

"Now, heart failure is basically where the heart's pumping, it's weaker, but it's still pumping. And a heart attack is when there's an actual problem with blood flow being cut off to the heart itself," cardiologist Dr. Kamesh Sivagnanam said.

But there are things people can do to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day and keeping a healthy diet. Eating fruits, veggies and lean meats can lower your risk of a heart attack.

The McAllen Public Library is hosting a Heart Strong conference on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to noon. Medical experts will be offering free health screenings and attendees will have the chance to talk to doctors.

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