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Mississippi Leads Nation in Death Due to Cardiovascular Disease

By Thomas Broadus | Published 07 Apr 2011 10:50am | comments

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke is leading cause of death in Mississippi . MPB's Daniel Cherry reports on a disease that some call the silent killer.

Mississippi has the highest rate of death due to cardiovascular disease in the nation. Patrick House from Brandon is the season 10 winner of "The Biggest Loser". Before he lost nearly 200 pounds he experienced many health issues affecting Mississippians.

"I was scared to go to the doctor to find out just what was wrong. Little did I know I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, I had sleep apnea, I was pre-diabetic, and I had plaque built up in my carotid artery. I was, in the words of the doctor, a ticking time bomb. I was set for a major heart catastrophe."

House reversed all those conditions by shedding the weight. Mississippi is the most obese state in the nation, and obesity is one of the key contributors to the disease. Jhardi Haido recently lost his mother to heart disease. He says seeing his mother die forced him to make some changes.

"The hardest experience of my life period. Just going through it and knowing heart disease is hereditary so then you've got to think about it. I've got two children so I have to get myself together for them. The emotional part of it is still going on to this day and it will probably never end."

Diet and exercise are the most effective prevention measures against cardiovascular disease. Many people live unaware of their problem until they have a heart attack or stroke. Scott Smith is the CEO of The Central Mississippi Medical Center. He says the only way to be sure about heart health is to get regular checkups.

"Signs symptoms of weakness, general fatigue, whatever the case it's always important you start a physical exam with the appropriate physician. Put it in their hands and they would be able to diagnose if there is a problem."

Cardiovascular disease kills more people than all types of cancer combined. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.




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