Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. Cardiovascular disease includes heart attacks, heart failure (problem with a weak heart muscle), arrhythmias (irregular heart rates) and valvular problems. When people talk about heart disease they are typically talking about a heart attack. 790,000 Americans have a heart attack per year, which means 1 person every 40 seconds.

-Dr. Victoria Smithers, family physician, is an inspirational speaker and blogger on stress management and many wellness topics. She is booking now for medical and Christian conferences, keynotes, retreats, and workshops. Contact  her at healthandwellnessplus247@gmail.com to check availability and to get a price quote for your next meeting.

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?:

  • Chest pain- often heaviness in center of chest radiating to left arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Hot and sweaty
  • Pain, numbness in left arm
  • Pain radiating to neck or jaw
  • Weakness or fatigue

What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease

What Causes Heart Disease?

Fatty plaque builds up in arteries in the heart. This causes narrowing and hardening of blood vessels and can lead to a blockage. It also increases likelihood of a clot forming on plaque and causing blockages. This leads to a decrease in blood flow and lack of oxygen to the heart muscle which causes a heart attack.


  • Age > 50
  • Male sex
  • Family history of heart attack
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet- high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol
  • History of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise


What is the Best Prevention of Heart Disease?

  • Be physically active- recommend aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day
  • Be a healthy weight
  • Eat heart healthy foods- high fiber foods like oatmeal, lots of fruits and vegetables, and fish like salmon
  • Avoid alcohol, fried foods, food high in saturated fat- like meat and butter, and salty foods
  • Keep cholesterol levels under control- Goal cholesterol<200 and LDL (bad) cholesterol <100
  • Keep blood pressure under control- Goal less than 140/90
  • Do not use tobacco
  • Reduce stress

It is important for all patients that have many of the risk factors or any warning symptoms be screened for heart disease. This is done by getting a stress test done to evaluate for a blockage. If it is recognized early, an individual can have a stent placed or bypass surgery done and prevent a heart attack and even save their life. Take steps to reduce your heart disease risk today!!

Health and Happiness!

How to Reduce Stress to be Healthy and Happy By Living Well – Dr. Victoria Smithers

By Dr. Victoria Smithers MD on Incline