February is American Heart Month and a great time to learn about cardiovascular health. Dr. Mary Larson, a cardiologist with Dignity Health Medical Group - Sequoia, has answered five common questions related to heart disease.
Question 1: What Is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease includes ailments of the heart, the heart muscle, the heart valves, the heart's rhythm, heart arteries, and blood vessels. Narrowed or blocked blood vessels can cause heart attacks or strokes.
Question 2: What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of heart disease really vary. Someone suffering from heart disease could have dramatic symptoms, like profound pain in the chest, abrupt loss of consciousness, or sudden cardiac arrest. Other times, the symptoms are less obvious, like chest discomfort that feels like heart burn which progresses to the neck, jaw, or back. Shortness of breath, pain or swelling of the legs, fatigue, and the inability to exercise can all be signs of heart complications, too.
Question 3: How Common Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Question 5: How Is Heart Disease Treated?
Treatment can include lifestyle modification, medication, complex cardiovascular procedures, or a combination of methods.
Question 6: How Can I Learn More About My Risk?
To understand your risk of heart disease, talk with your doctor. Your physician can work with you to manage your risk factors, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.
To find a provider near you that specializes in humankindness, visit DHMF.org.
Please visit DHMF.org/Sequoia or call 650.306.2300 to learn more or make an appointment.