Our Opinion: Heed subtle warning signs of heart disease

Heart disease has been getting local, state and national attention during February.

The attention is important because heart disease is the No. 1 killer for both men and women.

And the February observance is appropriate because it is designated as National Heart Month by the American Heart Association.

In the past, I have used this forum to relate my own experience and warn that the signs of heart disease may be subtle.

My “twinge” when doing yard work prompted me to contact my physician, which led to tests that resulted in a triple-bypass operation a decade ago.

At the Mid-Missouri’s 23rd annual Heart Ball on Saturday, local resident Max Cook shared his experience with heart disease, as well as some of the subtle warnings he received.

He described chest pains, which led to an angioplasty, and becoming light-headed, which led to stents. He also has undergone bypass surgery and relatively new occlusion procedure.

Cook offered two potentially life-saving suggestions.

Listen to the warning signs of heart disease, no matter how subtle. “My body was really talking to me,” Cook told the audience.

Tell your doctor, who can interpret those signs and suggest a course of treatment. “Technology and advancements in research were really taking care of me,” Cook said.

Those advances, he added, are supported by the American Heart Association.

The association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. That’s a mission we all can live with.

— RFM

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