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Doc Talk | "Movember" for men's health awareness

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We often hear November called "Movember" in honor of men's health awareness month.

The scary thing about heart disease is that often times a person doesn't know he or she has it until a cardiac event happens.

But there are things you can do to prevent it. All you have to know is your ABC's.

So often cardiac problems to come out of nowhere.

"The scary thing is 90 percent of cardiac deaths that occur, occur in men," explains Dr. Aditya Sharma, Geisinger Holy Spirit cardiologist. "Even scarier, 50 percent of these have no preceding symptoms."

Which is why Dr. Sharma says knowing the risk factors and working to prevent heart disease altogether is your best option.

"It’s important to understand that coronary artery disease is progressive so it continues to keep going," says Dr. Sharma. "And so what we do actually is to halt it or slow down the progression of it."

Preventing heart disease means knowing your ABCs.

"Aspirin to be taken as needed as a preventative measure, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and then stop smoking or don’t smoke at all."

Dr. Sharma says men are more likely to get heart disease than women and that's most likely because of hormones. Usually men are affected after they turn 60 but it can happen earlier if there's a history of heart disease in the family.

The good thing is, he says, if you take action to control your risk factors through diet and exercise there are more than just heart benefits.

"Blood pressure not only affects the heart," says Dr. Sharma. "It affects the brain and your other organs as well and so people generally say they feel much better."

Dr. Sharma says men should see their doctors for annual checkups, often times they don't. And those visits are crucial, especially as they get older.

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