Morning Mix


Mercy Heath says heart health begins with your primary care provider

Posted at 10:20 AM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 10:20:27-05

February is National Heart Month, a perfect time to take charge of heart health. In addition to providing routine care like annual vaccines and wellness checks, your primary care provider can also be your first line of defense against serious illnesses like heart disease.

Dr. Ariel Mejia from the Mercy Health Physician Partners Internal Medicine office discusses how to start the conversation with your primary health provider.

Common risk factors of heart disease include:

  • Advancing Age
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • High blood sugar
  • Lifestyle – not being active, smoking, consuming excessive alcohol
  • Genetic - Family History

People can decrease their risk of heart disease by creating healthy habits. The change will not come from eating healthy for just one day, healthy habits need to be built up over a lifetime.

Healthy habits like being more active, making smart meal choices, quitting smoking, and staying up to date with your checkups are just some of the ways people can increase their heart health.

Even when knowing the risk factors, it's also important to know the early warning signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pressure/discomfort that can travel to left arm or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn sensation
  • Feeling weak and light-headed
  • Upper back pain

In women and diabetics, symptoms can be easier to miss like:

  • Shortness of breath with activity
  • Nausea
  • Exaggerated fatigue

The heart is a vital and delicate organ that tends to go unnoticed until something goes wrong. Take the time to invest in your heart health today to ensure that the pump remains strong throughout your life.

For more information on Mercy Health's primary care services and choosing the right provider, visit

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