Tag Archives: risk factors

“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.

National Wear Red Day

Are you seeing red today? We are! Lexington Medical Center employees gathered for a group photo inside the hospital today for #NationalWearRedDay. We want our community to “Just Say Know” to heart disease by learning about risk factors.

Risk factors make you more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that a disease will get worse. The good news is that 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented and treated if you learn about your risks and take action to control them.

Risk Factors You Can’t Control
*Age 45 or older (men), age 55 or older (women)
*Family history of early heart disease. If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 45, or if your mother or sister had a heart attack before age 55, you are more likely to develop heart disease.
*History of preeclampsia during pregnancy

Risk Factors You Can Control
*High blood pressure
*High blood cholesterol
*Diabetes and prediabetes
*Smoking
*Being overweight or obese
*Being physically inactive
*Eating an unhealthy diet

Other Risk Factors For Women
*Sleep apnea
*Stress
*Depression
*Too much alcohol
*Birth control pills (especially for women over 35 who smoke)
*Anemia

For more information, visit LexMed.com/Know

#LMCJustSayKnow

“Just Say Know” to Heart Disease: LMC is RED for February

Lexington Medical Center encourages community members to “Just Say Know” to heart disease during the month of February, which is American Heart Month. One out of every 3 people in South Carolina dies from cardiovascular disease. And, heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the world. Knowing your risk factors and how to prevent them can save your life.

Lexington Medical Center’s “Just Say Know” campaign emphasizes four main ways people can protect themselves against heart disease:

1. KNOW the risk factors.
2. KNOW when to talk to your doctor.
3. KNOW how to lower your risk.
4. KNOW when to call 9-1-1.

Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking and a stressful lifestyle. Talking to your doctor about your heart, even if you’re healthy, is important. February is a perfect time to speak with your health care provider about your overall heart health, any concerns you may have, or questions you want to ask so that you can take control of your heart health.

During the month of February, Lexington Medical Center will be lit up at night with red lights to remind community members to “Just Say Know” to heart disease. This photo shows some of our employees outside of the “red hospital” last night.

RedHospital

To test your heart health knowledge, go to LexMed.com/Know to take an online quiz.

You can also schedule a hospital speaker to talk to your business, church group or organization about heart disease. Visit LexMed.com/Know or call Lexington Medical Center Community Outreach at (803) 936-8850.

Lexington Medical Center will host a FREE heart fair on Sunday, February 28 from Noon – 4:00 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center in downtown Columbia. Attendees can walk through a MEGA inflatable heart, take an exercise class, and learn their blood pressure and Body Mass Index (BMI). Visitors can also learn about advanced technologies for heart care, meet Lexington Medical Center physicians and watch healthy cooking demonstrations.