Dr. Paula Walker discusses heart disease - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Dr. Paula Walker discusses heart disease

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Every minute in the United State, someone's wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke, or another form of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Paula Walker from Columbus State University discussed this topic in greater detail.

She says heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels. Examples of heart disease include angina (chest pain), high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), heart attacks and stroke.

Some risk factors for heart disease include:

*Family history

*Smoking

*Poor nutrition

*Physical activity

*Obesity

*High blood pressure

*High levels of stress

*Diabetes

*Elevated cholesterol levels

*Advanced age

Heart disease is different for women and men, she says, because symptoms of heart disease are different for women. Men will typically experience crushing sub-sternal chest pain, which is classically described in the textbooks, accompanied by shortness of breath. Women will experience fatigue, vague abdominal pain and nausea as presenting symptoms of heart disease.

The most important thing listeners can do is to know their blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure is correctable and most of all, it's preventable. However, high blood pressure is a 'silent killer'. You wouldn't know that you have this condition unless you check for it.

Ideally, the systolic blood pressure (or top number) should be 139 or less and the diastolic blood pressure (or bottom number) should be 89 or less.

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