February 26, 2009
Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, but it can be prevented through listening to your body and a short conversation with your doctor. You're probably used to hearing chest pain and shortness of breath as the normal symptoms, but they can actually vary from minor symptoms like burping and reflux.
Risk factors are higher for people over 60, but can really affect anyone depending on their family heart history. Calcium build up, rated through a calcium score, and plaque in the arteries cause heart attacks. The normal calcium score is 200 and below, but one man score took University Hospital doctors by surprise when they discovered that his was 8,000 and very deadly.
George Ogles relates, "This was really a gift to me, a warning to find out that i was that close to a very serious operation that could take my life. I told my wife that I had a ticking time bomb in my heart that could explode at anytime, based on what I learned, so I was glad to move forward on this."
George worked out all his life, plays golf and is very active, so that's evidence that heart disease can be a problem in anyone.
If you want to know more about your heart, this Saturday will be the perfect opportunity to learn. University Hospital is hosting its final Heart Health Fair. Physicians will be out at the Columbia County Library giving free screenings. The event will be held from 10 am to 2 pm.