LAWTON, Ok (RNN Texoma) - February is heart month, and doctor's at Comanche County Memorial Hospital wants you to know just how to keep your heart healthy.
We've heard about how aspirin can help prevent heart disease. But doctor's say not everyone should be taking it.
"It's estimated that at least 50 billion aspirin tablets are sold worldwide every year," Cardiologist Dr. Tomasz Swierkosz said.
Aspirin is used to help stop blood clotting that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Dr. Tom said it's also being used by people who have never had a heart attack, as a preventative. And he said that can be deadly.
"As with any medication, aspirin has side effects," Dr. Swierkosz said. "If you have any weak spots in your gastrointestinal system or anywhere else in your body, taking aspirin may lead to bleeding. If you, God forbid, have a car accident, or you slip on ice and cut your head, you could have internal bleeding that typically proves to be fatal."
There are patients who benefit from taking aspirin. But that is on a case by case basis according to Dr. Tom. He said if you're looking to prevent heart problems, there are other ways to do it.
"Other than quitting smoking, the other important thing to consider is to control your blood pressure, control your sugar levels, make sure we know what our cholesterol is, and of course diet and regular exercise are important," Dr. Swierkosz said.
Dr. Tom said as with any medication, always consult your doctor first.
"Just because it's over the counter, doesn't mean it's good for you," Dr. Swierkosz said.
CCMH's annual Heart Healthy Luncheon is February 13th at 11:30 in the Maple conference room.
You're invited to attend the lunch and presentation given by Dr. Tom titled "Aspirin, friend or foe?"
Lunch is $10. Seating is limited so please RSVP by calling 585-5406.