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The Test That May Determine Your Heart Attack Risk Before It Happens

Playing The Test That May Determine Your Heart Attack Risk Before It Happens

There are lessons we can all learn from the sudden death of TV icon Alan Thicke.

Read: 3 Things You Must Do to Save Your Life If You're Having a Heart Attack, According to Dr. Oz

The 69-year-old suffered an apparent heart attack while warming up before a hockey game in Los Angeles Tuesday.

Thicke had no known heart problems and seemed to be in great shape, according to his close friend, Ken Boxer, who told Inside Edition: “He was the picture of health. Lots of exercise, playing tennis. Always moving. Nonstop motion.”

Some doctors recommend a stress test and it's a simple process. Electrodes are placed on a person’s chest to monitor their heart rate while they work on a treadmill.

Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor, told Inside Edition that Thicke's death is a wake-up call for everyone.

“Half the people who die of a sudden heart attack or sudden heart disease never had a symptom before. Never had a problem. That's why it's so important to take the steps to protect your heart,” he said. “The best thing you can do to help your heart: Exercise 30 minutes a day if you can."

Changes to your diet will help too, he said.

"Cutting back on salt, eating a heart healthy diet," he said. "Those things can help a lot. Keep your weight in a healthy range. That will help. Then things to reduce your stress: Yoga. Meditation. Those things can bring down your stress levels and help protect your heart.”

Read: Witness Recalls Alan Thicke's Final Moments: 'We All Thought He Was Going to Be OK'

There is a spike in heart attacks during the colder time of the year.

“We are entering those winter months," Dr. Besser said. "People are going out shoveling snow. Getting that kid of exercise when it’s cold — that's a heart attack waiting to happen.” 

Watch: Doctor: David Bowie May Have Had Jaundice at Last Public Appearance

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