Cardiologist explains importance of lifestyle choices when monitoring heart health

Local News

According to Dr. Diana Cantellops, a UPMC cardiologist, obesity has a direct link to heart health

FARRELL, Pa. (WKBN) – On Monday, over 100 people took advantage of free health screenings at UPMC Horizon in Farrell.

A local cardiologist said heart disease does not have to be the country’s leading killer.

After registering, participants went to stations that monitored cholesterol, blood pressure and potential risk factors. Then, they went over their numbers with an expert.

“We have to look at other things that we can control,” said Dr. Diana Cantellops.

Cantellops has been a cardiologist at UPMC for 11 years.

When patients go to her with their numbers, she calculates a 10-year heart attack or stroke risk factor. If the risk percentage is between 7.5% and 20%, she recommends a plan of action.

“Twenty percent is really high risk and we’re telling them they need to use medication to reduce the cholesterol,” Cantellops said.

“I saw the article in the paper last week. I’m heart-healthy,” said participant Joeanne Lanich.

Lanich was not prescribed medicine to control her heart health. She said you don’t have to stress about screenings like these when you properly take care of your body.

“I’m feeling pretty good. I walk on a treadmill at home, I do a water aerobics class. So this just makes me feel even better knowing I’m in the right direction,” she said.

Cantellops also stressed the importance of diet, saying most people don’t know food is one of the most important preventative measures for heart disease. She said obesity has a direct link to heart health.

“They do some blood work and they find out that their cholesterol is good, triglycerides are good, they don’t have diabetes. Well, they can end up with heart disease just because of obesity,” Cantellops said.

Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the country and can be caused by a long list of factors. At the top of that list? Poor lifestyle choices.

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