Get smart about heart disease

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With the Wilson Heart Walk this Saturday at the Eastern North Carolina School for the deaf, this is a good time to get smart about heart disease — the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Managing your risk for heart disease is a puzzle with many pieces. Blood pressure control, weight reduction and increased physical activity levels go a long way to manage that risk. But the puzzle has more pieces.

Pathologists, like myself, are trained to partner with your doctor to deliver the laboratory tests that assess heart health. For example, when your doctor orders cholesterol and blood glucose tests, pathologists operate behind the scenes, expertly running the laboratory to ensure your test results are accurate and timely.

Your doctor combines these lab results with other information — such as family health history and other testing—to assess your personal heart health picture, which then helps you manage and maintain a strong, healthy heart.

As not only a doctor but also a heart disease survivor, I hope you will join us this Saturday at the Wilson Heart Walk and help us raise funds in our fight to save lives. To learn more, read the American Heart Association’s Seven Simple Steps to Heart Health (shortened link: http://bit.ly/2oRqu8Q and the Wilson Heart Walk website (shortened link: http://bit.ly/2oXxLpX).

Michelle Aurelius, MD