LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -We continue our coverage of National Heart Month by breaking down your risk factors for heart disease, so you know how to protect yourself.
Comanche County Memorial Hospital cardiologist Dr. Srilatha Ayirala says when it comes to heart disease, there are some major risk factors you need to know about.
"There are two types of risk factors which can be controlled and which cannot be controlled. The risk factors which cannot be controlled are age, gender and family history. Risk factors which can be controlled are hyper-tension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, overweight, healthy diet and stress," Dr. Ayirala said.
Dr. Ayirala says the most significant of these risks is of course smoking.
"Active smoking and second hand smoking both increase the risk of heart disease. It increases the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels and also increases the risk of forming clots. There is more increased chance of a heart attack," Dr. Ayirala said.
Dr. Ayirala says for the risk factors that can be controlled, following a healthy lifestyle will help reduce the amount of diseases you have to be on the lookout for.
"Stop smoking, regular activity, exercising, eat a healthy diet and better control of high blood pressure and diabetes," Dr. Ayirala said.
Since heart disease is high in both men and women, Dr. Ayirala says it's important to go see your doctor on a regular basis.
"For prevention of heart disease other than risk factors like regular physician visits and checking your BP and blood sugars and making sure your cholesterol is under good control and regular exercise, low-salt diet and eat healthy," Dr. Ayirala said.
Which leads us to Dr. Ayirala's final message, recognize all of these risk factors and make the changes necessary to prevent them...not later, but now.
"It's very important to recognize the risk factors and treat them or award them as much as we can," Dr. Ayirala said.
In other health news, Comanche County Memorial Hospital will host a weight loss options luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 11:30 a.m. in the Oakwood Conference Center. The cost is $5 and includes a healthy lunch. The guest speaker will be bariatric surgeon Dr. Michael Sawyer. He will be discussing innovative weight loss options. For more information and to make a reservation, call 580-585-5406.
The Good-hearted Woman luncheon will be held on Monday, Feb. 29, at 11:30 a.m. in the Maple Conference Room. The cost is $5 and cardiologist Dr. Ronald Woodson will be speaking about women and heart disease. To make a reservation call, 580-585-5406.