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Health Check: Time is Muscle

WTAP News @ 10
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:05 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Dr. David Gnegy is an invasive cardiologist with the Parkersburg Cardiology Associates.

He said West Virginia has one of the highest prevalences of coronary heart disease and heart disease in the nation. He said a lot of it has to do with genetics but there are things we can modify to lower that risk like eating healthier and exercising; however, he said one of the biggest modifiable risk factors he sees is smoking.

“So many people smoke and that is so bad for your heart,” Dr. Gnegy said. “So stopping smoking is important. also around here, we have a very high prevalence of diabetes, and diabetes increases your risk of heart disease greatly. So the same things that we watch for in developing heart disease could be to prevent diabetes.”

According to a report done by America’s Health Rankings.org in 2021, 13.8 percent of West Virginians have heart disease. The national average is 8.1 percent. 15.7 percent of West Virginians have diabetes. The national average is 10.6 percent. Finally, 22.6 percent of West Virginians smoke. The national average is 15.5 percent.

Since heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes run in my immediate family, I chose to have an exercise stress test done by Dr. Gnegy. At the end of my test, my results showed my EKG was good and there were no signs of an EKG depression. My blood pressure response was normal. For my heart rate, it did go up abruptly in three minutes which told me I should probably exercise more…

Dr. Gnegy said that it is never too early or too late to get your heart checked by a cardiologist.

“The important thing about getting to the hospital as soon as possible when you’re having an emergency like that is cause…time is muscle. the sooner we can get a blocked artery opened the less damage to the heart so that is why it is so important if you are having symptoms that are concerning for a heart attack to go to the nearest facility for urgent care.”

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