Huntington-Ashland tops list of urban areas for heart attacks - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Huntington-Ashland tops list of urban areas for heart attacks

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Richard Cline just had a heart attack two weeks ago, and we caught up with him at the Wellness Center at St. Mary's Medical Center in Huntington.

"If I would have listened to my doctor 25 years ago, I wouldn't be here today," says Cline.

Cline is here meeting with his trainer.

He is making lifestyle changes. - For one, he is quitting the fatty foods he was brought up on.

"Sausage, biscuits, gravy, potatoes, the meat."

The Huntington-Ashland Metropolitan area ranks Number One in America for heart attacks, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Dr. Mark Studeny, the chairman of Marshall University's cardiovascular program, is not surprised.

"It motivates the medical community to try and educate the population to change some of their ways," says Dr. Studeny.

Out of the adults surveyed for this poll, nine percent say they have had a heart attack. - Nearly half say they have high blood pressure.

The main cause is obesity.

Then, there's that other thing that contributes to this problem: the addictive habit of smoking.

Thirty percent of the people around here do it.

Doctors say they would be treating fewer heart-attack patients if more people would quit smoking.

We also meet with Mike Dolin, who smoked for fifty years, until his numbers got dangerously high.

Dolin quit smoking, and started working out.

As for how he feels? - "Not a whole different. I was feeling good before, but my heart didn't like it," says Dolin. "Heart's back to normal. Just keeping it that way."

Doctors say part of the reason for the first place label is that people are not being proactive.

They would like to see people make lifestyle changes *before* the heart attack.