EAST TEXAS (KYTX) - February is Heart Month. According to the centers for disease control, heart attacks account for one out of every four deaths in the U.S. each year.
88-year-old WWII Veteran Sidney M. Kahn was one of hundreds who came to ETMC's free Heart Health Fair on Tuesday.
"The fact is I have a pacemaker, and I spent three years in the military during WWII and I've had 13 surgeries since then.
So, consequently I'm really concerned about my heart. And, that's what keeps us going," Sidney Kahn said.
Greg Murphy is director of clinical research at Tyler Cardiovascular Consultants. He says Kahn has good reason to be concerned.
"It's one of the leading causes of mortality, morbidity in East Texas," Murphy said.
And he says it's the leading killer in women.
"Women need to be screened more frequently, even, than men."
"We work out together. This is my workout partner."
20-year-old Andira Battles and her mother Keffie say teamwork keeps their hearts healthy.
"I have my days when I don't want to work out. And then, my mom's like, no, you're going," she said.
Murphy says along with regular screenings, exercise and a healthy diet are also ways to avoid heart disease and heart attacks.
"Eat better, eat less fried food."
"Whatever I eat, I have to watch out and think, oh can my mom eat this too. So, I have to be very mindful and thoughtful."
Murphy says with Valentine's Day quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start making sure you're heart healthy.
There's nothing like love to make the heart healthy.
And he says a small amount of our favorite Valentine's day treats can actually be good for our hearts.
"Dark chocolate, red wine.. BOTH LOADED WITH HEALTHY ANTIOXIDANTS."
Valentine's, hearts, screening, health. It's what it's all about.
And of course, a little love.. Something this mother/daughter team uses to encourage each other all year round.
"She motivates me to stay young and healthy."
According to the CDC, about 715,000 americans will have a heart attack this year. And 600,000 will die from them.