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Hundreds to walk to raise awareness about heart disease in northwest Louisiana

The 2022 American Heart Association Heart Walk is taking place on Saturday, May 7, at Festival...
The 2022 American Heart Association Heart Walk is taking place on Saturday, May 7, at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport.(Jill Lucero)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 4:57 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - It is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease accounted for nearly 875 thousand deaths across the country in 2019, according to the American Heart Association.

To raise awareness about an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of people annually, the 2022 American Heart Association Heart Walk is taking place on Saturday, May 7 at Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport. Tap or click here to register.

Benefitting the American Heart Association, participants have already raised nearly $135,000 - with a goal of $150,000.

Dr. Tarek Hemly, professor and division chief of cardiology at LSU Health Shreveport, said this is a prevalent issue in northwest Louisiana.

“This is quite a problem, not only do we see a lot of cardiovascular disease in our community, but also the degree that the disease has progressed in some of these patients,” Hemly explained. “It’s quite concerning.”

According to the American Heart Association, some of the leading factors of heart disease include smoking, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, obesity, cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Hemly said early detection is critical for successful treatment and positive outcomes.

“The earlier we catch it, the better we can improve the outcomes in these patients,” he added. “Rather than waiting for it to progress to a degree where sometimes can limit what options we can offer.”

The CDC also reports heart disease tops both cancer and COVID-19 in its mortality rate, adding that “one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from heart disease.”

“By educating the community, disseminating the knowledge and encouraging change, we hope to be able to make a significant improvement by how our community is affected by cardiovascular disease.”

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