NANCY BURMEISTER: An introduction to heart disease

By Nancy Burmeister

Special to the Pioneer

February is heart month. Sure, we have Valentine’s Day, but there is more, much more. February is a time to celebrate the hearts that keep us alive!

The statistics regarding heart disease are mind-boggling. Heart disease kills more Americans than anything else including all forms of cancer, accidents and all respiratory illnesses. Heart disease kills three times as many women as breast cancer. I don’t want to spend a lot of words on statistics, though. I want to spend words on how you can prevent and/or treat this awful disease.

We will cover ways to prevent heart disease and ways to live with it. Heart disease comes in many forms. Some types of heart disease cause chronic health problems. These include arrhythmias, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. They can impact life style and cause people to need many medications on a daily basis. Other kinds of heart disease are acute. Those include some arrhythmias, strokes, and, of course, heart attacks. When most people think of heart disease, they consider heart attacks. So, our next column will deal with heart attacks and what to do if you suspect one.

Look for our next column and, meanwhile, take care of your heart. You cannot live without it!