GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Doctors say that cardiac arrest can happen quickly and with little warning, so the best way to protect your health is to know your risk factors.
Fans and admirers around the world were shocked at the sudden death last week of Lisa Marie Presley. She died of cardiac arrest at 54 years old. Her father, the famous singer Elvis Presley, also died of heart failure at the age of 42.
Dr. Laura Franey, a cardiologist with Corewell Health (formerly Spectrum Health), said that in some cases, cardiac arrest can happen suddenly without any or with only subtle proceeding symptoms.
“Cardiac arrest is an event when you heart goes into a dangerous, or what we call a malignant, rhythm and can stop beating and perfusing blood through the body,” Franey explained.
With cardiac arrest one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., she recommended people know the risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, tobacco use and family history.
“It’s important to be proactive to be your own personal advocate. I always tell my patients they should know their numbers: Know where their blood pressure is running, what their cholesterol is, make sure they’re getting their annual physicals with their primary care physician,” she said.
Franey said that as people live longer, they tend to develop more risk factors that are potential causes of cardiac disease. She said anyone with a family history of early onset cardiac disease should make sure to tell their family doctor.