SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 800,000 people in the United States die from heart attacks each year which means heart attacks are to blame for 1 in every 3 deaths.
Dozens of healthcare professionals gathered at the Basketball Hall of Fame Wednesday day for the 6th annual Cardiovascular Conference.
Doctors gathered Wednesday to find out what best practices and research could improve patient outcomes.
However, Dr.Amir Lotfi of Baystate Medical Center says prevention begins at home.
“If you eat well, exercise routinely, your weight is good or don’t have diabetes or don’t smoke,” Dr. Lotfi advised. “You decrease your chances for a heart attack or stroke by 80 percent.”
Speakers at the conference also addressed how opioid use can increase heart failure as well.
According to the American Heart Association, people who use opioids have an increased likelihood of an irregular rhythm by 34 percent.
Several medical professionals at Wednesday’s conference including Susan Lanesey from Dispatch Health said that when it comes to treating heart attacks, time is one of the main factors.
“For the amount of time that your heart doesn’t get those nutrients and oxygen the more your heart muscle tends to die,” Lanesey explained. “The quicker you get care for that and open those blood vessels again to get those nutrients to the heart muscle the better your outcomes.”