YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The month of February is dedicated to heart health and awareness about heart disease and stroke, but there is another condition that affects nearly 1 million people each year.
Understanding cardiovascular disease can be life-saving. Doctor Casey Yossa is a vascular surgeon at Trumbull Regional Medical Center. She says as we age, our arteries can narrow from the build-up of plaque which can cause a heart attack.
Plaque and cholesterol affect more than just the coronary arteries. Some of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and family history. Vascular disease is serious and can lead to stroke, heart attack and amputations.
Vascular surgeons are able to make sure patients know and understand all of their options. That starts with lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and a healthy diet.
“We are going to make sure you are on the right medications. Are you on antiplatelet therapy? What is your cholesterol? Are you on a statin? And then if the lifestyles changes, the medications don’t improve the symptoms, then we might talk about surgery down the line,” Yossa said.
Doctor Yossa says if you have any of these risk factors, now is the time to talk with your doctor and figure out if it’s time to meet with a vascular surgeon and start making those healthy changes.