It’s Time To Have A Heart To Heart…

February is the perfect time to talk about heart health.

When it comes to heart disease, prevention is KEY!

Merit Medical Clinic’s very own, Dr. Jessalyn Weir, has one of the kindest hearts we know!

Below are some heart-healthy tips Dr. Weir shared to help keep our tickers in optimal shape!

Thank you, Dr. Weir!

February is heart health month, a time to bring attention to what we can do to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the second most leading cause of death in Canadians after cancer. It can affect anyone, but middle to older aged adults are at the highest risk.

Certain medical conditions put people at higher risk of heart disease – diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco dependency, and obesity. If you or a loved one have any of these conditions, please talk to a healthcare provider about how you can reduce your risk. 

While medications are sometimes warranted, the best thing you can do to reduce your risk is to get active and eat a healthy, balanced diet. The current recommendation is 150 minutes per week of moderately intense exercise (only 3 spin classes at Wheel Fit Co!). In terms of diet, half of your plate should be vegetables. Limit red meat to one or two times per week, and eat more lean meat like chicken or turkey. While a lot of diets are popular right now (keto, intermittent fasting, etc) the only diet that has been linked to a hard reduction in cardiovascular disease risk is the Mediterranean diet.

Typical symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain (right-sided is actually more concerning than left) that radiates down the arm or up the jaw, nausea, and sweating. Women are more likely to present with atypical symptoms like isolated arm pain, upper abdominal pain, isolated nausea, and generalized fatigue. If you think you’re having a heart attack, chew 2 aspirin and call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.

If you’ve already suffered a heart attack, it’s important to keep up with risk reduction and take your medications regularly. One other thing you may want to consider is getting a pet – dog ownership has been shown to reduce the death of any cause by 24% in the general public and death among heart attack survivors by 33%!

Dr. Weir


For more information: Alberta Health Services OR Heart and Stroke.

If you are concerned about your heart health, speak to a medical professional.

  • Merit Medical Clinic: (780) 639-3180
  • Lakeland Medical Clinic: (780) 639-3001
  • Glacier Gates Medical Clinic: (780) 594-8130
  • Cold Lake PCN: (780) 639-0011
  • Emergencies please dial 911