SSM Health Medical Minute: Surviving a heart attack

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ST. LOUIS - According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease--listed as the underlying cause of death--accounts for nearly 800,000 deaths in the U.S.; that’s about 1 of every 3 deaths.

About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives each year than all forms of cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined. Direct and indirect costs of cardiovascular diseases and strokes are estimated to total more than $316B including both health expenditures and lost productivity.

John Williams has survived two heart attacks with the help of Dr. James Smith, cardiologist at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital. He quit smoking, started walking, and only eats red meat on occasion. He’s adopted a heart healthy diet and had to make serious lifestyle changes.

Dr. James Smith said listening to your body and getting to the ER quickly makes all the difference.

“The type of procedure he had, we have 90 minutes to do the whole thing. So we had his EKG within 5 minutes and within 30 minutes he was in the cath lab," Smith said.

For more information about heart health, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.​