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Steering Clear of the Widow Maker



Its very name implies trouble. And in matters of the heart it can be devastating. Many victims are middle-aged men.

“‘Widow maker – we call it because it happens in one of the main blood vessels that supply oxygen to the heart, or what we call left anterior descending artery,” says Lee Memorial Health System cardiologist Dr. Murali Muppala. “When it is completely shut off there is no oxygen going to the heart.”

If the artery gets abruptly and completely blocked it causes a massive heart attack that very often leads to sudden death.

“Most of the time when this happens, most of the people die unless you open those blockages pretty quickly,” says Dr. Muppala.

The damage is done before someone realizes what’s happening in many cases. But there is a way to beat this heart-breaker. Experts believe playing it smart could save your life.

“If you know that someone in your family has had a heart attack, your chance of having heart attack is definitely higher,” says Dr. Muppala.

Making it extremely important to look at additional risk factors including hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and inactivity – things which can be changed.

“Exercise four to five times a week, make sure you’re eating right, make sure you’re not smoking and make sure you lead a healthy, active lifestyle,” says Dr. Muppala.

Staying ahead of heart disease may be the best way to cheat the widow maker.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

Visit leememorial.org

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