Cardiologist offers insight into enlarged heart issues - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Cardiologist offers insight on enlarged heart issues

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Dr. John Rathbun Dr. John Rathbun

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC/KLTV) - An enlarged heart can be diagnosed and treated over time, but discovering it early can be key to treatment. 

A Louisiana coroner performed the autopsy on radio personality David "Kidd" Kraddick. 

Dr. Granville Morse, Jefferson Parish deputy coroner said, three of Kraddick's arteries were diseased with between 40 and 80 percent blockage. The DJ died Saturday in New Orleans while attending a golf tournament for a nonprofit organization for children the he started. 

It happened fast and with no warning, according to those close to him. 

A Savannah cardiologist said all it takes is listening to your body. 

"Perhaps he had a warning, perhaps he didn't. We don't know," said Dr. John Rathbun, of the Heart Hospital at St Joseph's/Candler didn't know Kraddick, but he knows enlarged hearts all too well. 

"It's a very common diagnosis," Rathbun said. 

But not everyone listens when their bodies tell them - something's not right. 

"People have to be aware of themselves. Chest pain is the common thing that's mentioned but that only happens in 60-70 percent of people," he said. 

Rathbun said to think about how you've felt in the last six months. 

If you're tiring easily; have shortness of breath; can't do what you were able to do six months ago, those could be signs that you need to be checked out. 

An EKG or echocardiogram is a 30-minute test that can easily and quickly spot an enlarged or what Rathbun calls a baggy heart. 

"If you see on an echocardiogram or big baggy heart, that's a trigger to go ahead and proceed with further evaluation," he said. 

But if you think you're just tired or run down and don't have time for a checkup? 

"[If] you don't have time for that, you don't have time to live," he said.

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