Anybody Can Have A Heart Attack

JONESBORO (KAIT) Over 800,000 Americans die of heart disease every year.  The recent loss of newsman Tim Russert has brought this killer again to the forefront.  A heart attack can strike anyone.

D.V. Patel, Cardiologist. "Anybody can have a heart attack, there are a lot of risk factors that are involved in people having heart disease but pretty much anybody can have a heart attack."

The recent death of newsman Tim russert of a heart attack has showed us once again that a man that appeared outwardly healthy and fairly young at 58 can fall victim to this killer.

Cardiologist D.V. Patel from the NEA clinic was in the cath lab today, procedures that are used to diagnose and treat some heart problems.

Patel says that like Russert, nearly one third of all people who have heart attacks do not survive.

"What he probably had was what we call a plaque rupture where the plaque that he had probably cracked and then you get a clogging of the whole artery giving you a heart attack."

Plaque is the buildup of material in our arteries, Patel says almost everybody has some plaque but some have more severe levels than other.

This is why it is important to have good health habits starting at an early age. But some of us may need to see a doctor and have some tests.

If your doctor suspects that you may have disease, one of the first tests you'll take is the cardio scoring test done in machine called a CT scanner.

Patel, "What that test does is identify people who have calcium in their arteries of their heart and it tells us how much calcium is in those arteries. Calcium in your arteries is associated with plaque in your arteries. Because of the correlation of that depending on how much calcium you have you may need further testing."

Testing such as heart Cathegorization or Angiogram like I observed today.

Prevention and modification of life style is a must. Watch what you eat, exercise, regular checkups and if you suffer from things like hypertension and diabetes, keep a tight reign on your problems.

But even with all that prevention anybody still can have a heart attack.

Patel, "If you do prevention, proper prevention you have done all you can to help yourself take care of yourself. That does not mean that you may not have a heart attack. That's something you can't control, whether it be your genes or stress or what ever. "