Published on February 23, 2015

Heart Disease is a Leading Cause of Death

PELLA, Iowa—February is American Heart Month, a good time to review your risk for heart disease, as well as the risk to those you love.

Staying on top of diet and exercise is the easiest way to prevent heart disease. A healthy diet consists mainly of lean meats (skinless chicken breast, fish), fresh fruits and vegetables, foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and foods high in fiber. Sodium intake should also be limited as much as possible. Regular exercise, such as walking, jogging, lifting weights, bicycling or yard work also plays a large role in your cardiovascular health.

Pella Regional Health Center offers many tests and screenings for the early detection of heart disease, as well as many treatment options for those who suffer from cardiovascular problems.

One test, called cardiac stress testing, is when a continuous EKG along with heart rate and blood pressure are recorded at rest and after exercise. Images obtained by Medical Imaging can be added to this test for additional information. A Holter monitor or an event monitor can be used to detect heart rhythm abnormalities. These are small, wearable devices that record your heart rhythm. These tests require an order from a doctor and are covered by most insurance companies with certain reported symptoms.

Consult your doctor about your personal risks for heart disease and follow recommendations regarding testing, lifestyle changes, therapy and medication. Staff in Cardiac Services at Pella Regional Health Center recommends yearly physicals with your primary care provider as an important part of your total health picture. To schedule an appointment, go to