PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Dr. Samir Patel, an Interventional Cardiologist at the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida in Panama City, said it’s important to pay attention to signs you may have heart disease.

Some of those signs include chest discomfort, worsening shortness of breath, and exercise intolerance.

Dr. Patel said one of the first things a doctor would do to check the status of someone’s heart health is to get their blood pressure. This is also something you can do at home.

A stress test is recommended for someone suffering symptoms possibly related to heart disease. However, that method involves walking on a treadmill.

Those who do not have the capability to reach a peak heart rate via treadmill have the option of a nuclear stress test. Dr. Patel said it is a very common method for diagnosing heart disease.

Another more advanced option for detecting heart abnormalities is to get a cardiac PET/CT scan. Dr. Patel said the Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida office in Panama City has the only cardiac PET/CT advanced imaging machinery in the Panhandle. This is common to use for someone with a history of heart disease.

More information on heart health is available on the American Heart Association’s website. Click here for a link to updated reports.

Dr. Patel suggests seeing a primary care physician if you are experiencing heart abnormalities or symptoms related to heart disease. The Cardiovascular Institute of Northwest Florida in Panama City is one place to book an appointment. Another location is opening at the west end of the beach on March 1st, 2023.