Taking Care of Your Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, and it impacts people of all ethnicities and ages. Anyone, including children, can develop it. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions, the most common being coronary artery disease which occurs when plaque builds in your arteries, causing them to narrow and reduce blood flow to the heart. This can result in a heart attack. Someone in the United States suffers a heart attack every 40 seconds!
To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Community Care Ambulance is proudly participating in American Heart Month. For our part, we’ve gathered information about heart health including statistics, signs of a heart attack and tips for a healthy heart. Much of this information is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where you can find more data, research, and materials about heart disease.
Heart Disease by The Numbers
One in every four deaths in the U.S is due to heart disease. Half of all Americans have at least one of the key contributors to heart disease – high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Each minute, more than one person in the U.S. dies from a heart disease-related event.
Not only does heart disease affect our health, but it’s expensive. It costs the United States about $200 billion annually when you add up the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.
Improving Your Heart Health
You can lower your risk of heart disease by following a few critical steps. First, quit smoking and stay away from second-hand smoke. Eating right, getting exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are key to overall health, including keeping your heart in shape. Also, drink alcohol only in moderation, and manage your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Signs of a Heart Attack
Men and women may experience symptoms of a heart attack differently. However, there are five common signs:
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
- Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
- Shortness of breath
Other symptoms of a heart attack could include unusual or unexplained tiredness and nausea or vomiting.
Women may experience other symptoms such as angina (dull, heavy to sharp chest pain or discomfort), pain in the neck/jaw/throat or pain in the upper abdomen or back. Women are more likely to describe chest pain that is sharp and burning.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911. If it is a heart attack, minutes count and can save a life!
Learn about other ways Community Care Ambulance is committed to the health of our communities – like providing healthcare screenings and CPR instruction. If you have an event or idea that aligns with our mission, please call us at 833-698-5684.
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