What are the warning signs of a Heart Attack?
According to the American Heart Association, in the US, coronary artery disease, which includes heart attach, causes 1 of every 7 deaths. But many of those deaths can be prevented by acting fast! Each year, about 635,000 people in the US have a new heart attack and about 300,000 have a repeat attack.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense. But most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are some of the 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.
– For women, heart attacks may present differently than men. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
What should you do if you suspect a heart attack? Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, immediately call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS).
How to avoid a Heart Attack
– Don’t smoke, and avoid second hand smoke
– Treat high blood pressure if you have it
– Eat foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium (salt) and added sugars
– Be physically active. For substantial health benefits, (according to the CDC) adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week.
– Reach and maintain a healthy weight
– Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
– Get regular medical check-ups
– Take medicine as prescribed
Call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721) or visit heart.org to learn more about heart disease.