Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Navin Gupta at Avera St. Luke's.
While the spirit of the season fills our hearts with joy, the heart specialists at Avera St. Luke's want to remind us about protecting the most important muscle in our body. Nancy Naeve Brown went to Aberdeen recently to talk to an interventional cardiologist there.
Dr. Navin Gupta with Avera Cardiology Specialists at Avera St. Luke's says, "Heart disease has been for a very long time the 31 killer of women as well as men. Unfortunately, many women present in a-typical ways and so often it's misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed. We've now come around to realizing this. In addition we are seeing heart disease in younger and younger patients.
Q: So what is your advice? I don't think any of us want to believe something bad is going to happen to us.
A: Heart disease can strike anyone at any time. It's very important to tend to the risk factors and to be aware of them. It's especially important to see your physician and get screened appropriately.
Q: For people watching right now, what is the number one thing they can do to improve their health and the health of their heart?
A: The number one thing is to stop smoking. The number two thing is probably the increase in obesity we are seeing in the U.S. Unfortunately, with our sedentary lifestyle and poor diet habits, instance of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure going up which is unfortunately going to erase a lot of the gains we've made in treating heart disease over the last several decades.
Q: So really it's simple. We need to take better care of ourselves which will help take better care of our heart.
A: Absolutely and that goes across the board not just in term of your heart, but in terms of your mind, reducing your risk for cancer and so on."