SPOKANE, Wash. – You may have noticed an ad campaign on KREM 2 called, ‘Real Men Wear Gowns.” It is part of an effort our company is undertaking to encourage men 50-years-old and older to get screened for deadly disease that claim far too many lives.
For the month of March, the focus is heart disease.
Rob Crick recently suffered cardiac arrest. He said the pain came on so sudden and so strong. He tried to drive himself to the emergency room but instead pulled into a nearby urgent care.
“As soon as I walked in I went into full cardiac arrest and collapsed and woke up hours later and they had fixed me up," Crick explained.
Crick was lucky he survived. He now wants to encourage other men to get screened for risk factors because as far as he knew he did not have any.
"From my standpoint I knew I had a strong heart, strong lungs, all of that," Crick said.
What he did not know was that plaque was building up on the walls of his arteries restricting blood flow to his heart. He also has a family history of heart disease and it caught up with him in June 2014.
"So, statistically there's a fairly high chance that, as a man in your 50's that you may develop heart disease at some point during your life," said Dr. Michael Ring, who works as a cardiologist at Sacred Heart Hospital.
Dr. Ring said he cannot stress enough the importance of getting screened for risk factors, even if you think you are healthy.
"One thing is you can't tell by looking at somebody how healthy they are inside," said Dr. Ring.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists heart disease risk factors as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and family history of heart disease. Diabetes, being overweight, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol use also put you at greater risk for heart disease.
“The sooner that you can get on top of the factors that lead to heart disease, start treating it, the less likely you are to develop it. And, certainly much more likely to push it back further in your life in terms of when it comes on," Dr. Ring explained.
The good news is that getting screened for risk factors is generally pretty easy, according to Dr. Ring. He says to start talking with your doctor and go from there. Do not assume you are in the clear because you look and feel healthy.
For more information on the Real Men Wear Gowns campaign, click here.