The actor who played Tony Soprano in HBO’s the Sopranos, James Gandolfini, recently died of cardiac arrest (a heart attack). He was a well known actor who was overweight. At this point it is impossible to say what exactly caused Mr. Gandolfini’s heart attack, but we can say one thing for sure:

Being overweight or obese significantly increases you chances of having a heart attack.

The best prevention for a heart attack is to lose weight with exercise and a heart healthy diet (avoid foods that are high in cholesterol or high in carbohydrates).

Also be on the lookout for the signs for a heart attack, such as: chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back, feeling weak, light-headed, or faint. If you believe you are having a heart attack go to the emergency room immediately.

The other major risk factor for heart disease is your family history. If you have family members who had heart disease or suffered heart attacks then there is a high chance you will have heart disease as well and/or suffer a heart attack as well.

If you are worried you may have heart disease then please call your primary care physician (PCP) and schedule an appointment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. A doctor can help diagnose heart disease and schedule a stress test to confirm whether or not you have certain risk factors for a heart attack.