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Ask a Doctor... What’s the most important thing I can do to help my heart?

“Sixty percent of men and 50 percent of women who have a heart attack or sudden cardiac death had no prior knowledge of their cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Mark Lurie, Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s Director of Cardiology Program Development.

Dr. Lurie, a THIPA cardiologist for 30 years, says the most important thing you can do to help your heart health is to follow a heart healthy lifestyle.

“Many people are looking for a silver bullet (such as medication) and daily lifestyle is ignored. But lifestyle is as important as any medication. You want to eat healthy foods and balance it with modest exercise. The idea goes back to calories in and calories out. It’s never too late. Even if you have heart disease, a heart healthy lifestyle will send your risk of heart attack and stroke plummeting by 20%. And if your heart is still relatively healthy it will drop even more.”

It’s also important to maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. “The American Heart Association recently released new blood pressure and cholesterol guidelines,” says Dr. Lurie. “Ask your primary care physician about them at your next visit.”

THIPA members can make an appointment with a THIPA cardiologist without a physician’s referral. That’s because they’re among over 70 specialists in THIPA’s Self-Referral program.

Dr. Lurie

Cardiologist Mark Lurie, M.D.,
Director of Cardiology Program Development,
Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
He has been with THIPA since it began in 1983.