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KEZI 9 Checks In February 9th

KEZI 9 News Checks in for February.

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It's February 9th which means it's time for our monthly segment "KEZI 9 Checks In". It's a monthly reminder on the 9th of the month for women to do a self breast exam to check for any lumps or changes and this month we're also focusing on American Heart Month. Here's KEZI 9 News anchor Renee McCullough.

I'm joined by Dr. Mitchell with Women's Care. He specializes in maternal fetal medicine. He's an expert on women's health in Eugene. February is American Heart Month so we're going to talk about heart health. Dr. Mitchell, what can women do to prevent heart disease?

"Heart disease is a really complex condition. There's a lot of different factors that can contribute to heart disease. Genetics is something that is a little bit harder to control but simple alterations, like diet, tobacco cessation, limiting alcohol intake, those can all be significant contributors to improving one's overall health. In addition to exercise as well as part of a heart healthy diet."

"How much exercise are we talking?"

"It doesn't have to be much. 30 minutes of walking a day will have a significant impact on reducing heart related conditions."

"Can you tell me who's at risk to have a baby with a heart defect?"

"In my field of maternal fetal medicine we see a wide range of patients who are high risk and women who have a previous diagnosis of a heart condition are at increased risk of having babies with a heart disease."

"So women who are born with congenital heart defects... research has shown that these women are at about a 6 to 7 percent increased risk of having a baby with a condition. Also, dads who are born with a congenital heart condition are at an increased risk as well."

"And why is it so important to find that before the baby is born?"

"It depends on the severity of the lesion. Some of these babies actually need to be sent up to Portland to be delivered where they need intense intervention immediately. It's also good to prepare families for things that could come down the line so it's always nice to know before delivery as opposed to being surprised by some of these conditions after the baby is born, so decreasing the risk for those moms obviously eating better and treating yourself better. Pregnancy is a very stressful time for women in general especially on their heart so coming into pregnancy as healthy as possible is going to improve pregnancy outcome for moms. We recommend continuing exercising through the pregnancy. We don't necessarily recommend taking on new activities or a marathon, but there's no significant need to decrease your activity. I always tell patients to continue working out and do.. as long as you feel comfortable."

Be sure to go to our website to sign up for Kezi 9 Checks In and we'll send you a reminder each month to do your self-exam.

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