Ask the Doctor: Heart Disease Facts

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Someone has a heart attack in the U.S. every 40 seconds. But it can be preventable.

February is American Heart Month, and Dr. Barbara Bumberry, a physician at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, joins us to discuss typical symptoms, risk factors, and prevention of heart disease.

Typical symptoms:

  • Squeezing/crushing sensation in the chest, nausea, sweating, pain down the left arm, shortness of breath
  • Less common symptoms – dizziness, trouble sleeping, neck/jaw/shoulder/abdominal pain, clammy skin, cold sweats
  • Women and individuals with diabetes are more likely to have an atypical presentation.

Risk Factors:

  • Smoking, overweight, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, sedentary, increasing age, chronic inflammation


  • Exercise – Just 12 minutes a day of vigorous exercise can decrease the risk.
  • Music – can increase exercise stamina and decrease the perception of exertion.
  • Meditation – may slow down breathing which can decrease blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Controlling chronic inflammation – dietary changes, Mediterranean diet.
  • Learn CPR – “Stayin’ Alive”

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