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Top Killer in Oklahoma: Heart Disease

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Top Killer in Oklahoma: Heart Disease

Heart Month is an important time to raise awareness about the dangers of heart disease and what we can do to prevent it. As one of the leading heart care providers in Oklahoma, Norman Regional Health System is dedicated to providing the best possible care to those who come to us for help.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, heart disease was the leading cause of death in Oklahoma, accounting for 1 in 4 deaths. More than 10,700 Oklahomans died from heart disease in 2017. As of 2020, the state fell to No. 2 in the United States for heart disease deaths, only slightly behind Mississippi based on the number of deaths per 100,000 total population.

These statistics remind us to be aware of our heart health.

Norman Regional Heart Care

Our HealthPlex Heart Hospital and Norman Heart and Vascular Associates offer a range of services, from preventive care to life-saving procedures, to help patients manage their heart health.

One of the biggest dangers of heart disease is the risk of a heart attack. When a heart attack happens, minutes matter, don’t wait! That's why our Chest Pain Center at the HealthPlex Heart Hospital is open 24/7, so patients can get the help they need as soon as possible.

Our facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art catheterization labs, and our staff are trained to diagnose and treat heart attacks quickly and effectively.

The best way to be able to catch any potential heart issues is through consistent check-ups with your primary care physician. But, there are also screening tools that are available, without doctor’s orders, which can be a detection tool for heart disease.

Archana Gautam, MD

Norman Regional’s Archana Gautam, MD, board certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Cardiology talks about risk factors and prevention for heart disease.

“Those are the people at higher risk of developing heart disease and also they have to look at their own factors, like do they have a history of smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis or any inflammatory diseases,” Dr. Gautam said. “At age 40, is when they should start thinking about it.”

She says a scan shows you if there’s a cholesterol build-up. “Basically what it tells you, is that once the cholesterol starts to get deposited in the heart, then over time, years, it turns into a calcium. So, if we see calcium in the heart, it’s telling you that the process of cholesterol deposition in the heart has started. This is a time to get more vigilant and change lifestyle modifications and start seeing your doctors and things like that,” Dr. Gautam said.

To read more from Dr. Gautam, read her article in February’s issue of the Moore Monthly.

Norman Regional $35 Heart Scan

Norman Regional offers a heart scan for only $35 at three locations. You’re able to schedule your appointment online at Norman Regional Heart Scan website at Norman Regional HealthPlex, Norman Regional Moore, or Norman Regional Nine. No referral is needed and the scan takes less than 10 minutes. Call (405) 307-2290 or click "Schedule Now" on the website to make an appointment.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease:

  • Over age 35 for men and 40 for women
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive stress
  • Sedentary lifestyle

If you have any of the above risk factors, you could benefit from scheduling one of our heart scans for calcium.

Norman Regional’s Women’s Heart Program

At Norman Heart and Vascular Associates, we have an all-female team working on our Women's Heart Program. We understand that women's heart health is unique, and our team is dedicated to addressing the specific concerns and risks faced by women.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing more than 314,000 women in 2020—or about 1 in every 5 female deaths, according to the CDC.


Our services include diagnostic procedures such as cardiac calcium scoring and basic treadmill and thallium stress testing, as well as interventional procedures such as valve repair and replacement and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

In addition to our cardiac services, we also offer a range of vascular procedures, including peripheral diagnostics and interventions, thoracic aortic aneurysm repair, and difficult revascularization cases.

We have the tools and expertise to address a wide range of heart and vascular conditions, helping patients to manage their health and prevent serious problems from developing.

Our Heart Plaza at Norman Heart and Vascular Services offers a range of services and facilities, including physician offices, outpatient diagnostic services, an anticoagulation clinic, and a cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation workout area.

Cardiac Rehab Program

We’re dedicated to providing the best possible care for our patients, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is no exception. This program has achieved certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), which is a testament to their commitment to high standards and positive outcomes for their patients.

The four-phase program is designed to help patients achieve their optimal health and wellness after experiencing a cardiac episode.

The program begins with an inpatient phase at the Healthplex Heart Hospital and continues with outpatient phases at The Heart Plaza, where participants can receive support and guidance from a team of professionals including physicians, nurses, exercise specialists, dieticians, and pharmacists.

Through this program, participants will learn how to exercise safely, increase their energy and endurance, modify risk factors, understand their heart disease and medications, control high blood pressure, develop healthy eating habits, lose weight, lower cholesterol, manage stress, and quit smoking. These skills will help participants achieve long-term health and well-being.

Those who have experienced a heart event such as stable angina, heart attack, angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery, heart valve repair or replacement, heart or heart-lung transplant, or chronic heart failure are eligible for the program. Medicare and most private insurers cover cardiac rehab, making it a feasible option for many patients.

If you have experienced a heart event and are looking to improve your health and well-being, Norman Regional's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is a great option. With a team of professionals and a focus on comprehensive care, you can be confident that you will receive the support and guidance you need to achieve your health goals.

We’re committed to providing comprehensive, integrated care to all of our patients, and our Heart Plaza makes it easy for patients to get the help they need in one convenient location.

Heart Month is an important time to focus on our heart health and take action to prevent heart disease.

At Norman Regional, we’re proud to provide top-quality heart care services to patients in Oklahoma, and we’re dedicated to helping patients live healthier, happier lives. Whether you're looking for preventive care, life-saving procedures, or just want to learn more about your heart health, we’re here to help.