© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Catching The Number One Killer: Preventing And Treating Heart Disease

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world.

It is the cause for roughly every one in four deaths, and because of this, doctors and researchers are struggling to discover early-warning symptoms and preventions.

One of the biggest problems for many suffering from heart disease is that they are not aware they have it. There are several examinations, the most common being stress tests, that can help determine how at risk a patient is for encountering a heart attack, but no such test is foolproof in diagnosing the heart condition and alerting patients of its severity.

There are a number of procedures that doctors can carry out for patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease. Prescription medications such as Lipitor are the easiest and most convenient method for dealing with the disease. Recently, medications used for other diseases, such as gout, have had surprising effects targeting problems related to heart disease by reducing the inflammation of arteries within the body. In more immediate cases, coronary artery bypass surgery, stents, and catheter-based artery replacements are performed. Regardless of the prevalence of these procedures though, doctors have not been able to determine which is the most effective.

Host Don Marsh spoke with Andrew Kates, M.D., Cardiologist at Washington University Heart Care Institute at Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Washington University Cardiology Fellowship’s Program Director, and Michael Lim, M.D., SLUCare Cardiologist and Co-Director for the Center for Comprehensive Cardiovascular Care at Saint Louis University Hospital.

The two offered insight into recent advancements in the treatment of coronary heart disease and tips for keeping your heart in check. According to Dr. Lim, “90 percent of the risk factors for a heart attack are preventable.”

Both doctors said regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet are keys to preventing heart disease.

Follow St. Louis on the Air on Twitter - @STLonAir

Stay Connected
Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.
Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years. From 1988-2014 she also taught an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. Mary was inducted into the St. Louis Media History Foundation Media Hall of Fame in April, 2017 and received the Gateway Media Literacy Partners' Charles Klotzer Media Literacy Award in 2012. Mary retired from St. Louis Public Radio in 2018, but still serves the station as a St. Louis Symphony Producer.
Don Marsh served as host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “St. Louis on the Air" from 2005 to 2019, bringing discussions of significant topics to listeners' ears at noon Monday through Friday. Don has been an active journalist for 58 years in print, radio and television. He has won 12 Regional Emmy Awards for writing, reporting, and producing. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, was inducted into the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame in 2013, and named “Media Person of the Year” by the St. Louis Press Club in 2015. He has published three books: his most recent, “Coming of Age, Liver Spots and All: A Humorous Look at the Wonders of Getting Old,” “Flash Frames: Journey of a Journeyman Journalist” and “How to be Rude (Politely).” He holds an honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Ways To Subscribe