Heart disease: What you don’t know could kill you
Heart disease is our nation’s No. 1 killer and half of the people who have heart attacks die before they even get to the hospital.
Would you know if you were having a heart attack? Do you know what to do to increase your chances of staying alive until you reached the hospital?
Sridevi Pitta, MD, an interventional cardiologist at UT Health Northeast, is one of the most highly trained heart doctors in the United States.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, accounting for one in four deaths. About 715,000 Americans suffer heart attacks each year and 600,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” says Dr. Pitta, who is board certified in cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, endovascular medicine, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and internal medicine.
Know the symptoms of a heart attack: chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, unusual tiredness, and nausea or vomiting.
“If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack – even if you’re not sure – call 9-1-1 right away,” says Dr. Pitta, who completed an advanced fellowship and a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., as well as a fellowship in cardiology at Wayne State University in Detroit.
“Fortunately, you can lower your risk of heart disease by eating healthy and exercising from 30 to 60 minutes a day for at least four days a week. Quit smoking or don’t start. And take care of risk factors for heart disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Finally, take your medications as prescribed,” she says.