Study tracks post-Katrina heart attacks
By Karen Abernathy –

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) – It has been nearly four years since Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast. And as many people continue their efforts to recover, the stress of the disaster may be causing health problems they’re not aware of. Now, a new study out of Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, has some startling numbers about the storm’s damaging effects on our heart.

Gerard Guilliot is part of that study. Like so many people, Guilliot spent countless hours gutting and rebuilding his flooded home after Katrina. He said it was a monumental task, that apparently put plenty of stress on his heart.

“I thought I was fine until the last couple of heart attacks,” Guilliot said.

Lawrence Tompson had a heart attack just a few days ago. He, too, believes Katrina was a factor.

“Well, that could be, you know, because we had a lotta problems,” Tompson said.

Tulane cardiologist Anand Irimpen said Gerard and Lawrence are part of a continuing trend. Doctor Irimpen’s research found that in the two years after Katrina, heart attacks in New Orleans increased three-fold compared to pre-Katrina.