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Healthy Habits: February marks American Heart Month

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:53 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 8:54 AM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Heart disease is a top and often silent killer of people across the country every year.

Dr. Blase Carabello, Chief of cardiology at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine and Vidant Medical Center, says nearly a quarter of deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease every year. Although it’s a troubling statistic, he says it can often be preventable.

Carabello says one of the key factors that impact heart health is a healthy cardiovascular system. He says that’s why it’s so important to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Another key factor that influences heart health is atrial fibrillation, or a quivering or irregular heartbeat. Typically, people with high blood pressure, sleep apnea, underlying heart disease and other chronic conditions, like thyroid problems, diabetes and asthma may be at risk. One of the easiest ways to prevent it is staying in shape.

Carabello says eating a well-balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, whole-grains and skinless poultry and fish, can also help prevent heart disease. He adds that limiting alcohol, exercising, managing stress and quitting smoking can all help, as well.

It’s important to see your provider for screenings, not just this month but every month. If you suspect a problem, don’t delay treatment. Carabello says that’s been an issue throughout the pandemic and reminds that doctors offices and clinics are following COVID-19 safety protocols and are safe.

For more information and to learn more about cardiovascular resources, click here.

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