Tag Archives: cholesterol

When Does Your Heart Need a Checkup?

We have routine mammograms, colonoscopies and dental check ups. But how do we know for sure our hearts are healthy? Dr. Amy Epps of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, answers that question in this WIS Health U news report with Dawndy Mercer-Plank.

 

“The Widow-Maker”

Celebrity trainer Bob Harper recently suffered a type of heart attack called “the widow-maker.” He talked about it on The Today Show this week in this interview.

 

Dr. Brandon Drafts

So, what’s a “widow-maker?” And how does someone so passionate about health and fitness have a heart attack? We asked Dr. Brandon Drafts, cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center.

Q: What’s “the widow-maker?”
A: The “widow-maker” is a term used to describe a heart attack that occurs in the proximal portion of the left anterior descending (LAD) artery. The disease process or the sequence of events that leads to a heart attack is the same, but the location of the “widow-maker” is critical because of the large territory of heart muscle that is at risk, which could lead to cardiac arrest. It’s important to know that any heart attack can potentially be fatal, but the location of the “widow-maker” is very high risk.

Q: Bob Harper was a health and fitness fanatic, but also had a family history of heart disease. Are genetics alone enough to cause a heart attack, even if you’re healthy?
A: Yes, it’s possible that genetics can be the major factor leading to a heart attack. It’s uncommon, but we do see either severe heart disease or heart attacks that occur in very active people or even competitive athletes like marathon runners.

Genetics are complex, but basically involve deficiencies or mutations of certain genes that cause the coronary arteries to be more susceptible to the fatty plaque build-up that obstructs blood flow or can cause a sudden heart attack. Genetics can also refer to cardiac risk factors such as high cholesterol or diabetes that can be very difficult to control despite medical therapy.

So, it’s important to get established with a doctor who can monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight over time.

Learn more about cardiovascular services at Lexington Medical Center by visiting LexMed.com/Heart.

How A Lifetime of Bad Choices Leads to Heart Disease

We’re wrapping up American Heart Month with a visit with the doctor. Dr. Brandon Drafts of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talks about how a lifetime of bad choices can lead to heart disease in this WLTX interview you can watch below.

 

While are some risk factors we can’t control such our age or genetics, we CAN control diet, activity level, tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

You should get about 30 minutes of exercise a day five days a week. Focus on a consistent, long-term exercise regimen with a progression in intensity.

Smomking can increase our risk for heart disease by causing fatty plaque buildup in the heart that can ultimately lead to heart attacks.

Blood pressure is the force blood exerts on the blood vessels. Ultimately, it can weaken the blood vessels or cause the heart to thicken, weakening the function of the heart.

Generally speaking, cholesterol is a good thing because cells need cholseterol to fucntion normally. Cholesterol becomes a problem when there’s an imbalance of it, which can lead to fatty buildup in the arteries.

Stress is a modifiable risk factor that doesn’t get as much attention as it should. It’s hard to objectify or measure stress. Indirectly, it can affect blood pressure or create unhealthy habits of dealing with stress like smoking or drinking alcohol. It can also make plaque buildup in the heart unsteady, which can lead to a heart attack.

Lexington Medical Center wants you to “Just Say Know” to heart disease. Visit LexMed.com/Know to take a heart health quiz and find more information.