Heart awareness month marks one year anniversary for Columbia man

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COLUMBIA - February is American Heart Awareness month. According to Missouri Heart Center, heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. 

Missouri Heart Center cardiologist, Dr. Jerry Kennett said 1 in every 3 people die from heart disease.

Kennett also said, "The great news about heart disease is mortality rate has gone down quite significantly. About 30 percent over the past 30 years, and a lot of that is due to lifestyle changes, to medication that have certainly become available."

That's true for one Columbia resident as Friday is the one year anniversary of his first, and he said hopes is his only heart attack. 

Randall Jordan said he suffered from pain for about 3 months before even knowing there was something wrong with his heart.

Jordan said, "I thought it was the flu. I was sick for a while and I was like, ‘oh okay. I’m just sick. I’m going to get over it. get over it.' But I never got over it."

It wasn't until one night where Jordan woke up and couldn't breathe. He went to the hospital and then found out he was having a heart attack.

He said, "It was scary and you just gotta change your diet. I changed my diet and stopped a lot of stuff I was doing."

A misconception some people have is heart condition and heart disease are different.

Dr. Kennett said both are the same. Someone having a heart condition is a precursor to having heart disease.

Some symptoms Dr. Kennett said to look out for are chest pains, specifically in the center or back, shortness of breath and swelling of ankles and the abdomen.

Dr. Kennett also said, "In the United States, because of our access to medication and certain procedures, we’re probably doing a better job on trying to reduce the level of mortality related to heart disease, but it’s critical for people to be aware of their own health and to basically take control of their own health.”

As for Jordan, he said his blood pressure has gone back to normal with right medication and changes to his lifestyle by eating differently.