Health Plus: Heart Problems - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Heart Problems


Waterloo (KWWL)- When it comes to our hearts, we can never be too careful.

Chest pain or other unusual symptoms could mean your body's trying to tell you something.

In Health Plus, Tara Thomas talks with a heart attack survivor who thought he was doing everything right for his health.

Ron Michaelsen is not just a casual runner.  He does marathons.

He doesn't drink or smoke and eats pretty healthfully.

So imagine the 62-year-old's shock when he started having chest pains last year.

"I run all the time and so I was running the half marathon last year at Sturgis Falls Days and it was the first time that I ever thought about quitting because I just felt pressure in my chest."

He didn't have a heart attack that time.

But again while running in August, he did.

Recently the Cedar Falls man had a stent put in.

"As a guy we don't want to admit pain or anything. You gotta work your way through it."

Cardiologists at Covenant Clinic in Waterloo say, like in Ron's case, heart problems can strike anyone.  But lifestyle changes can increase your odds of avoiding them.

"A healthy heart comes with a healthy mind and a healthy body."

Doctor Ahsan Maqsood says in addition to exercising and avoiding sweets and salt, some people should be screened for depression.

If you're depressed, he says you're more likely to avoid exercise and eat poorly.

And don't forget about regular screenings.

"Anyone above the age of 30 should be screened for hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and family history of premature coronary artery disease."

Especially when you don't have outward signs of a heart problem lurking.

"I think I was an accident waiting to happen. I don't look like I should have a heart attack, but I did," says Ron.

Tara Thomas


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