Ann Arbor Cardiologist Suggests 'Owning Your Own Heart Health' As Advice For American Heart Month

Feb 3, 2021

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.  So every February, we observe "American Heart Month" to bring attention and potential healing to the problem of heart disease.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Kim Eagle, cardiologist, director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan Health System, and professor of Health Management and Policy at the U-M School of Public Health.  They go beyond the usual conversation about heart health and into how to take stock and get started on a healthy heart future.


Dr. Kim Eagle, director of the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
Credit University of Michigan / umich.edu

Ann Arbor cardiologist Dr. Kim Eagle says there's a tremendous amount of heart disease now in the United States and across the world.  He says there are various types of heart disease that affect women and men, and he believes everyone needs to understand what their risks are.  He said there are a number of tools to estimate your cardiovascular risk, including blood pressure and cholesterol, and he says there are several online resources that can be used as well.

Dr. Eagle says sometimes people don't "feel" unwell, even though their hearts may be challenged, which can be difficult to get patients to follow healthy heart advice.  He says it starts with saying, "I care about my own heart health," and let's have a back-and-forth about what can be done to improve your health.  The cardiologist says he prefers to talk to patients about "movement" vs. exercise and encourages them to be active and understand the value of movement on their heart health.  He suggests patients consult with a dietician and determine realistic ways to improve their diets for heart health.  

Ultimately. Dr. Eagle says we need to own our own heart health by understanding the risks for heart disease and how they can be reduced.  He says, every morning when you wake up, you can make your own choices when it comes to exercise and diet and heart health.

Dr. Kim Eagle
Credit University of Michigan / umich.edu

Dr. Eagle wrote a book with former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler called "The Heart of a Champion" and became his health coach.  With them both on the same page, they were working together for a healthier heart.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu