Following heart procedure, doctors urge to eat healthy - KLFY News 10

Following heart procedure, doctors urge to eat healthy

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Is heart disease more likely in the south?

Doctors warn the public to watch their diets following news of former President George W. Bush's blockage and subsequent stint procedure. Bush underwent the procedure Tuesday following a routine check-up. Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Louis Salvaggio said stint procedures due to coronary disease and blockage are quite common. Nationally between 800,000 and 900,000 are performed annually.

"Additionally, southeastern United States has a higher risk thanks to the poor diets and immobility," he explained.

A diet consisting of fatty and fried foods, such as the ever popular cracklin and boudin in Louisiana, are a big factor in heart disease. Just a few millimeters in size, a stint opens a blocked artery and could last forever. While a bad diet is key to poor heart health, Salvaggio explained that even those who live healthy lifestyles should understand the risks. Bush is a good example, as he has been ranked on of the healthiest presidents.

"You can't control who your parents are, so genetics play a big factor. Also, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking put you at risk."

Routine check-ups, good diet and exercise and understanding a family history can help put someone at a lower risk; and even is a stint is necessary, Salvaggio said one can live a normal life following the procedure.

Bush himself is expected to return to his normal schedule on Thursday, just two days after his procedure.

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