Doctors give essentials for heart health, recommend special scan after Warriors coach dies

ByJ.R. Stone KGO logo
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Doctors give essentials for heart health after Warriors coach dies
After Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic tragically died of a heart attack, doctors provide "Life's Essential 8" keys for heart health.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic died Wednesday after suffering a heart attack at a team dinner Tuesday night in Utah.

He was just 46 years old. ABC7 News talked with two leading cardiologists, Dr. Leila Haghighat of UCSF and Dr. David Maron of Stanford, about heart disease and how concerned you should or should not be.

"The way we live makes us prone to having heart disease and I mean the types of diet that are typical among Americans not getting enough exercise," said Dr. Maron.

VIDEO: Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevi dies at 46 from heart attack

Golden State Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojević, 46, has died from a heart attack at a restaurant in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Haghighat stressed the importance of knowing what is called "Life's Essential 8" when it comes to heart health for not just men but women as well, seeing that heart disease is the number one killer among all people in the US, often developing later in females.

"Good diet, good exercise, quitting nicotine or cigarettes, good blood pressure, good cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and weight," said Dr. Haghighat.

Sleep is the final of those essential eight for your heart.

"Having good sleep, and that's something that we've recognized more and more, that having a good to seven to eight hours of sleep is really important for heart health," said Dr. Haghighat.

Dr. Maron says that some of the facts about heart attacks are concerning.

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"About half of the people who die suddenly from a heart attack or cardiac arrest never had a symptom before," he said.

It's one of the reasons that he recommends a test for some to see if you have calcified plaques in the arteries to your heart.

"And in my opinion, over the age of 40, get a coronary artery calcium scan to find out if you've got this disease brewing inside your arteries," said Dr. Maron.

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He went on to say that the scan is even more important for those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease. Insurance often doesn't cover that test because there hasn't been a clinical trial on it but Dr. Maron says there have been thousands of papers showing why it is beneficial. He says that the test is relatively inexpensive.

Dr. Haghighat says it's best to discuss all of your heart concerns with your primary care doctor.

Doctors tell ABC7 News that even when people do all of the right things a heart attack can happen. The recommendations above though can greatly reduce your risk of heart attack.

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