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African Americans at higher risk for cardiac issues, AdventHealth physician says small changes will reduce risk

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Dr. Spurlock featured on Orange TV

Each year, more people die of heart attacks than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it seems to hit the African American population harder. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of African American deaths in the U.S. - accounting for one in five deaths.

“There’s a genetic component (to cardiac issues for African Americans),” Dr. David Spurlock, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at the AdventHealth in Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, recently discussed with Orange TV. “Africans Americans are also at high risk of having diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure, but also not exercising enough and poor diet can lead to cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Spurlock believes small changes can make a big difference in your cardiac health.

“Not smoking and changing the diet,” said Dr. Spurlock. “If anybody’s like me, I start with the protein and the carbs and if there’s any space left on the plate, then I add some vegetables. Thinking the opposite way – building your plate from the vegetables out.”

Dr. Spurlock discusses how the screening process works for cardiac issues, what signs to look for when someone’s having heart failure and why having a primary care physician is so important for optimal heart health in this interview.

AdventHealth Orlando, where Dr. Spurlock practices, currently leads the way in cardiac surgeries in Florida, according to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. The hospital also received three out of three stars, which is the highest rating for cardiac surgery outcomes and only 20% of organizations achieve this rating. Potential patients can find a doctor and schedule an appointment by clicking here.

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