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Your Healthy Family: A heart surgeon's Valentine's wish for your heart health

Posted: 7:58 AM, Feb 14, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-14 10:53:07-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Dr. Peter Walinsky, a heart surgeon with UCHealth Memorial, has a special message for you about your heart.

Dr. Walinsky is urging everyone to be proactive about heart health in one specific way.

“I think everybody who turns 60 should have a baseline echocardiogram. It's a non-invasive test, it's not expensive, it doesn't hurt and we would catch so many more of these people early, before they have symptoms and before they have problems.”

Dr. Walinsky specializes in heart valve replacement and is constantly working to raise awareness of aortic stenosis and the subtle, often ignored symptoms it brings like shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

By the time most patients take action on these symptoms their heart disease has progressed to the point that they are close to or in heart failure.

Dr. Walinsky says, “The number one presentation for severe aortic valve stenosis is heart failure. People who have this deadly disease don't come in until they are way down the line. If they had a screening echocardiogram when they were 60 years old, it would have showed that they had moderate aortic valve stenosis, and then that could have been followed and treated before they ended up in heart failure.”

If you have questions about heart disease, follow up with your doctor.

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