Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Heart Disease Awareness Month

February is Heart Disease Awareness Month, so we would like to share with you some tips to prevent heart disease and to understand the symptoms of a heart attack.  Heart disease is a major problem in the US.  According to the CDC, each year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack and approximately 600,000 people die from heart disease.

Prevention Tips
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful options can help you avoid heart disease.  Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, foods low in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.
  • Don't smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease.
  • Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day, and women to no more than one.
  • Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. 
Heart Attack Symptoms

The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:
  • 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.
  • If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9–1–1 immediately.
Lastly, although heart disease is the nation's number one killer for both men and women, realize you do have control in preventing it.   According to the Mayo Clinic, 80 percent of heart disease is preventable, and even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact.

No comments: