WYOMING, Mich. (April 10, 2014) – There is no formal guideline when it comes to screening for heart disease or what the screening should consist of, that’s according to Dr. Matthew Sevensma of Metro Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Dr. Sevensma said just a simple conversation with your family doctor can possibly prevent a fatal heart attack.
“It’s number one cause of death in the world and it’s definitely something that is very preventable,” Dr. Sevensma said.
If you have high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, are a smoker, or have diabetes, you increase your risk for a heart attack.
Dr. Sevensma said people shouldn’t be concerned about the cost of a heart screen or worry it may be an extensive process.
“It’s not a CAT Scan, it’s not a stress test, it’s not a heart catheterization, nothing invasive,” said Dr. Sevensma. “You just need to see someone and talk to someone, maybe get a blood draw at most, definitely get your blood pressure checked.”
The doctor recommended getting familiar with signs and symptoms of a potential heart attack.
“Most people focus in on pain and they think they are going to have chest pain,” he said. “Most people actually have a pressure, a tightness or a band in their chest.”
Dr. Sevensma said most women typically experience nausea, shortness of breath, sweat or feel tired. He went on to say symptoms for everyone can appear, taper off then reappear.
“They go, ‘Wow! What was that?’ And then it starts to increase in frequency and then they have the big one.”
He said when in doubt, it’s time to seek out professional help as soon as possible.