Heart Disease Warning Signs
The biggest mistake people make at the onset of a heart attack or stroke is to delay getting help because they are unsure of their symptoms. Err on the side of caution. If you or someone around you exhibits any of these signs, call 9-1-1. The sooner emergency treatment is received, the better the chances of surviving a heart attack or stroke.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
- Chest discomfort, for example, uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, that lasts more than a few minutes or that goes away and then comes back.
- Upper body discomfort, such as pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, which may be associated with or occur before chest discomfort.
- Other telltale signs, such as suddenly breaking out in a cold sweat or a feeling of nausea or light-headedness.
A Warning to Women
Your heart attack symptoms may be different from those experienced by men. Watch for these additional signs:
- Abdominal discomfort or indigestion, which might include a burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen.
- Irregular heartbeat
- Flu-like symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting
- Unexplained fatigue or weakness
Stroke Warning Signs
- Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm or leg, usually on only one side of the body.
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache for which there is no known cause.
If you don’t have heart disease, consider yourself lucky. But don’t think you’re risk-free. The numbers show just how prevalent heart-related illinesses are. Instead of becoming a statistic, try making a few small changes in lifestyle that could make a big difference in your heart and reduce heart disease warning signs.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women.
- Of the 2.4 million Americans who die each year, more than 36% die from heart-related illnesses compared to 23% from cancer.
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death, killing about 150,000 people a year.
- 79.4 million people in the U.S. have some form of heart disease.
- In 2007, the total cost for heart related medical care and disability in the U.S. was estimated to be $431.8 billion.
Source: American Heart Association, Heart Facts 2007
Regular Aspirin Use
Did you know that aspirin can reduce your risk of a heart attack by as much as 32%? And reduce the risk of a second attack by 20%? And therefore reduce your heart disease warning signs? Talk to your doctor to see if an aspirin regimen is right for you.
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