Can you look at a person and tell if he or she is at risk for a heart attack? We couldn't, so we hit the street to ask what's the condition of your heart?" heart disease is the leader cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. And according to American heart association, Alabama ranks third in the country when it comes to the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
WSFA 12 News along with Baptist Medical Center South put people under what we called cardiac arrest. We started by ambushing people on the street and asking questions about their potential risk for heart disease. If we found they were at risk we took the willing to Baptist Medical Center South for a number of test and a chance at saving a life.
While we were testing other people my photographer Aaron Lee decided to put down his camera to under go testing himself. He wanted to learn more about his health. "I think it's a good thing to see if I'm heading down the wrong path to see if I can turn around because I'm not getting any younger." Said Lee. He's 26 years old and married so you would think at his age that he is far from any risk of heart disease, but, his family history pointed to potential problems. Aaron Lee has high blood pressure and high cholesterol and his father died of a stroke. He went under the the 64 slice ct scan that takes 64 images of your heart.
According to cardiologist Dr. Tamjeed Arshad, they found no coronary disease and he told Lee his arteries appeared normal but, the doctor "did" identify signs of pulmonary hypertension although he said he should not be alarmed. "I wouldn't say it's alarming I'd say it's something he needs to pay more attention to and seek some more answers as to what can be done further" said Dr. Tamjeed. Lee called the news a big weight off his chest.
What started as a simple test has changed Aaron Lee's life. He knew his family history, he knew he was a target for a heart attack, he knew the risk, but now he has what he calls a second chance to change the future of his health and his heart. "Now that I know that there is nothing critical I want to take measures to keep myself healthy" said Lee.
Reporter: Valorie Lawson