Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease

Dr. David Churchill is an Interventional Cardiologist with Washington Regional Medical Center

He spends his day trying to repair the coronary artery of patients with stints and balloon procedures.

He says patient come to him thorough two different ways. The clinic, where patients are referred by their family doctor, and the Emergency room, where patients show up once the problem is already acute.

Dr. Churchill says it's better to come thru a clinic than thru the ER, as those patients tend to be “ more stable … those through the ER tend to have more procedures done.”

Cholesterol is the big problem and sometimes lowering that requires more than just diet and exercise.

Nitrates, beta blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers can all be used in combination with someone who is having depending on the severity of blood pressure and angina.

The best thing you can do if your a smoker is to quit smoking.

After that getting cholesterol under control can be the number one, especially if you are diabetic. According to the American Heart Association at least 65 percent of diabetics die from some form of heart disease or stroke.

Dr. Churchill say that high cholesterol and blood pressure are the two main risk factors we can affect.

“ People can have some control of their system as well. They can lose weight. They can eat better. Which will help their blood pressure, help their cholesterol. They are all things that are good things to do at a young age so you don't end up seeing me later.”

But what if it's too late and your are already experiencing chest pain? Dr. Chruchill says don't ignore symptoms.

“We really probably should say chest discomfort because frequent heart trouble isn't super painful but it's more of a pressure or a squeezing or a weight or an elephant sitting on your chest. Substantial shortness of breath doing things that ordinarily wouldn't have caused you any problems. Those are things that ought to get your attention. And not be ignored.”

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