Risk Factors for Heart Disease: What can I control?

This month Franciscan Alliance posted an article on its website and in the Times of Northwest Indiana related to a story about a young tri-athlete that collapsed after a local Triathlon event in Hammond.

This story touches home for me for many reasons:

  • I happened to be one of the nurses working staff that day
  • I performed aggressive CPR on the patient
  • He and his wife are nurses
  • His children were in the waiting room while we working feverishly to save their father’s life
  • You could feel the love and strength “rooting” for him from the EMS, staff and his family

I cannot stress enough to all of you today how important it is to be healthy. The way you behave today will impact how you feel for the rest of your life.

The following are the uncontrollable and controllable risk factors for heart disease.


These are factors you can do nothing about:

  • Age
  • Hereditary
  • Gender
  • Race


These are factors you can do a lot about:

  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Inactivity
  • Poor Dietary Choices
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • Obesity

For anyone that is internet savvy the resources are endless. And for those of you that are not, give me a call at (219) 932-2300, ext. 34830.

Lastly, our patient SURVIVED…he walked out of the hospital two weeks later with his wife and children at his side. There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as we all waved goodbye to our “Miracle Man.”

Health and Happiness.

Submitted by Karen Callahan, RN, Chest Pain Center Coordinator at Franciscan St. Margaret Health.

The Chest Pain Centers at both Franciscan St. Margaret Health’s Hammond and Dyer campuses were the first accredited centers in Northwest Indiana and only two of 27 in the state. Accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers means that you can be confident that our Emergency and Cardiac departments have the right specialists, processes and equipment in place to provide the highest level of care for patients experiencing chest pain.

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