LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — February is American Heart Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Nevada.
The American Heart Association says as the pandemic goes on, it’s more important than ever to protect your heart. Officials say over the past year, a lot of people have leaned into unhealthy habits like skipping exercise, eating unhealthy foods, drinking, smoking and more.
Las Vegas Cardiologist Jawad Kiani says he sees a lot of obesity, diabetes and hypertension, something he calls a “silent killer” because it could be damaging our heart muscles while we have no idea it’s happening.
Those most at risk for heart disease are those who are sedentary or smokers, according to Dr. Kiani. He says our current culture isn’t helping.
“We’re into a lot of these sugary drinks, they directly contribute to diabetes which affects the coronary arteries, plaque development, also the arteries in the brain which causes strokes. I think our diet is a big factor, our lifestyle, we’re sedentary. We’re on our phones all the time, kids are playing video games all the time instead of being outside playing sports,” Dr. Kiani said.
Dr. Kiani says right now, cardiologists here in the valley are also seeing some COVID patients and a few who have been vaccinated go into acute heart failure, but right now studies on that are preliminary.
To decrease your risk for heart disease, Dr. Kiani says to exercise more, eat a healthier diet, refrain from smoking and try to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Stress can have a direct impact on your heart health as well, and those healthy habits can help you manage stress better.
Friday is National Wear Red Day, which encourages people to take action to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease. You can wear red and post on social media using #LVGoRed or #NVGoRed.