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AdventHealth Physician: Small Changes Reduce Higher Risk of Cardiac Issues for African Americans

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), the African American population seems hardest hit. 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),” David Spurlock, MD, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at AdventHealth's Heart, Lung and Vascular Institute, said in a recent discussion 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 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.

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