Baton Rouge doctors talk about why heart health is important, how get help early

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) - February isn't just about chocolates and flowers for Valentine's Day; it's also American Heart Month, emphasizing the importance of heart health. While checkups are crucial, not everyone has access to a cardiologist. A doctor in Baton Rouge has some tips to help you check on your heart on your own.

Heart attacks are still the most common cause of death in the U.S. Dr. Darrin Breaux works with Baton Rouge General at the Baton Rouge Cardiology Center and said close to 800,000 people have heart attacks every year.

"Heart disease is very common in the population, and often people have no symptoms before a catastrophic event or mistake symptoms for something more innocuous, such as heartburn," Breaux said.

Baton Rouge General has a full-service cardiac program including expert cardiologists who specialize in the treatment of heart attacks, but those who can't afford a preventative visit have other options.

Breaux said Health First, a health insurance company, offers free screenings for a variety of different tests including blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose, EKGs and sometimes more advanced tests. 

There are other third-party options as well.

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