Knowing the symptoms of heart disease - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Symptoms of heart disease

Heart disease is a silent killer - taking more lives in the U.S. each year than all homicides or cancer. Do you know the major indicators of cardiovascular trouble? 

"I was having shortness of breath, I was very fatigued, I had no energy," says Jackie Ikner.
All are symptoms that she had no idea were caused because of heart problems.

Ikner says, "I had a very weak heart, and that my heart was not pumping the fluids out everyday like it should."

She was rushed to the emergency room after having congestive heart failure. Diagnosed with heart disease, Ikner says she's lucky to have survived the whole ordeal.

"It is very scary and I'm very fortunate they caught it before it was able to get too bad," says Ikner.

Matt Hooper with the American Heart Association says one in every three people in the U.S. die from heart disease. According to Hooper, a person's lifestyle is the reason why heart disease is taking so many lives. "Diet and the level of your activity and exercise that is a huge determining factor as to cardiovascular health. Chances are if you're eating food high is sodium, high in fat, high in sugar, chances are you're going to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure."

And those are major indicators of your risk for heart disease.  

Ikner showed us the scar on her chest from where she had a pacemaker and defibrillator implanted to help her heart pump. She also has a heart monitor at her bedside that reports back to her doctor.

Ikner says having heart disease is scary and it has changed her, but she's now doing what she can to live a long life.

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