Wiregrass Seniors Magazine February 2019 FEBRUARY ISSUE - Page 8

Page 8 WiregrassSeniorsMagazine.com February is National Heart Awarness Month Heart Disease is the Number One Cause of Death Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The most com- mon heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2015, an estimated 885,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack. About every 25 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 fac- tors 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 CDC's Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. * Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort. * Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. Diseases and Conditions That Put Your Heart at Risk Other conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia, heart fail- ure, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). High choles- terol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. The American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Red Cross, and the National Council on Aging have launched a new "Act in Time" campaign to increase people's awareness of heart attack and the importance of calling 9-1-1 im- mediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms. Know Your Signs and Symptoms Some heart attacks are sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discom- fort. 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: Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects A report by The Institute of Medicine finds even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart at- tack. Tobacco smoke can cause health problems not only for smokers, but also for people around them. Breathing secondhand smoke increases a person's risk for a heart attack and other heart conditions * Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discom- fort 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. Symp- toms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Healthy Lifestyle: Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and Fitness 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 over- all pattern of the choices you make that counts. As you make daily food choices, read nutrition labels and base continued on next page