Wholehearted health: Cardiologists offer tips for your ticker

In the time it takes you to read this story, five people in the United States had a heart attack. If that doesn’t get your attention, consider this sobering statistic: every minute, someone dies from a heart disease-related event.

Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will be talking about heart health.
Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will be talking about heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of Americans have at least one key risk factor for heart disease.

To help you understand your risk, Beaufort Memorial Hospital is presenting “Wholehearted Health: Tips for Your Ticker” on Thursday, May 15 in the Lakehouse at Sun City.

During the free seminar, board-certified BMH cardiologists Drs. Stuart Smalheiser and M. Shannon Shook will talk about medical conditions and lifestyle choices that make you susceptible to coronary disease and steps you can take to improve your heart health.

The program will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 4:30 p.m., the presentation at 5, and a time for audience questions after the discussion.

”Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease,” said Dr. Smalheiser, a cardiologist with Beaufort Memorial Lowcountry Medical Group. “Your chances of developing the disease increase if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.”

You’re also at greater risk if you’re a man older than age 45 or a woman older than 55. While you can’t do anything about your age or family history, there are interventions you can make to help improve your chances of staying healthy. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising, controlling the stress in your life and managing your blood pressure and weight can help you avoid heart problems.

Lowering cholesterol levels is important because the buildup of cholesterol, called plaque, on the inner walls of your arteries reduces the flow of blood to your heart. Most heart attacks happen when a blood clot suddenly cuts off the heart’s blood supply.

The “Wholehearted Health” seminar is free and open to the public, both Sun City residents and non-residents, but seating is limited and registration is required. To register, call 522-5585.

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