February is American Heart Month. Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States. Reduce your chance of developing coronary heart disease by taking steps to prevent and control risk factors. Knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2008, an estimated 770,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and about 430,000 will have a recurrent attack. About every 26 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.
The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future. For more information on heart disease and stroke, visit the center for Disease Control’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at www.cdc.gov.
Diseases and Conditions
That Put Your Heart at
Other conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. For a full list of disease and conditions along with risk factors and other health information associated with heart disease, visit the American Heart Association at www.americ
Know Your Signs and
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
• Shortness of breath; may occur with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have launched a new “Act in Time” campaign to increase people’s awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms.
Healthy Lifestyle: Diet
and Nutrition, Exercise
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these American Heart Association recommendations:
• Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
• Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
• Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
• Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
• Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
• Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or less than 1,500 mg if you are in a higher risk group for high blood pressure).
• If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
• Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes.
Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. You can take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase the amount of physical activity in your life.
Women and Heart
Disease: Quick Facts
Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, and women account for 52.8 percent of the total heart disease deaths.
In 2004, heart disease was the cause of death in more than 450,000 females.
Heart disease is often perceived as an “older woman’s disease,” and it is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. However, heart disease is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25-44 years and the second leading cause of death among women aged 45-64 years. Remember that many cases of heart disease can be prevented. For more information and facts on women and heart disease, visit www.cdc.go
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.