Avera Medical Minute AHH: Limiting risk factors for Heart Diseas - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AHH: Limiting risk factors for Heart Disease

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The Avera Medical Group has always strived to provide the best quality care for patients. That means bringing the latest technology and leading medical professionals to their hospitals.

Meet Dr. Steve Feldhaus.

As a specialist in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Feldhaus brings more than 22 years of experience to the team of surgeons at the North Central Heart Institute.

While he's only been in Sioux Falls a little more than a month. he's spent his entire professional life fighting heart disease.

"Heart disease and stroke are the number one killers in this country." said Dr. Feldhaus.

Coronary Artery Disease or CAD, is the most common form of heart disease. CAD is when the arteries leading to the heart, harden and narrow. This happens due to the buildup of cholesterol and plaque on their inner walls, a condition also know as atherosclerosis.

Your own genetics have a lot to do with what causes heart disease but Dr. Feldhaus says several behaviors and habits can lead to a higher risk.

"Smoking, obviously its not only something that causes heart disease but it causes cancers as well and it's probably the most preventable." Said Dr. Feldhaus. 

Research shows that by just cutting back on the number of cigarettes can help lower your risk of developing heart disease but the best way is to kick the habit all together.

Although, you don't have to be a chimney to be at risk.

"One that probably 50 million Americans have and half don't know they do is the silent killer and that's high blood pressure." Said Dr. Feldhaus.

Being overweight, not eating right, and not watching cholesterol levels can also be a recipe for heart disease. Dr. Feldhaus says prevention before you get to the operating room is always the best medicine.

"The best way is just for the patient to be aware, what are the risk factors and what can I do about them and as we get older these risk factors become more important and they need to see their doctor." Said Dr. Feldhaus.

Not addressing the problem will only lead to more damage and get you booked for surgery. Even then, the work Dr. Feldhaus does is only half the journey.

"To do bypass surgery that's only 50% of the job, the other 50% is when they leave the hospital they get involved in cardiac rehab and then they have to change their risk factors or work hard at it." Said Dr. Feldhaus.

With advances in modern medicine, heart disease is becoming more treatable and preventable. But just to make sure Dr. Feldhaus doesn't see you on his operating table, review your family history, get checked out by a doctor, and then do the work.

You only have one heart, so it's your job to keep it beating.

For more information about risk factors for heart disease or to get your blood pressure checked just call 877-AT-AVERA

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