Marius' StoryJun 6, 2019
Are You Young At Heart?
Marius and Susan Payton had been dieting for about three months. With that in mind, they wanted to see what effects the diets were having on their heart health. They believed that Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett’s free cardiac age screenings would provide the insight they were seeking.
“The truth is, we are pretty competitive,” explained Marius. “So, I was fired up because I believed that my heart age would be lower than my wife’s.”
So, what is heart age? It’s the age of your heart and blood vessels when considering risk factors such as heart attack and stroke. Individuals are assessed on their body mass index, cholesterol level, glucose level, and blood pressure. The hope is that the heart age is equal to or less than a person’s chronological age.
The good news was that for the first time nine years, Marius’ cholesterol was in the normal range. The bad news was that his blood pressure was extremely high. As a result, 47-year-old Marius Payton had a 67-year-old heart.
“It was scary to see how high Marius’ blood pressure was,” said Susan. “We had the screening on a Friday. On Sunday, we checked his blood pressure at a local pharmacy. It was still high, so we came to the Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett emergency room.”
Marius was treated at the emergency room, and the next day was examined by a physician. A Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) showed that Marius had a complete blockage of one of the arteries to his brain. Marius is being treated for the condition, and he is hopeful that he is on the road to recovery.
“I had been having headaches, and I just thought they were seasonal allergies,” said Marius. “It turns out they were the result of the blocked artery. “If I had not gone to the cardiac age screening, I would have kept taking aspirin and thinking there was nothing wrong. I hate to think what could have happened. To be honest, I really believe the screening may have saved my life.”