10 Things to Know About Heart Disease 

One in every four deaths in the United States is a result of heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women. The good news is that it is one of the most preventable.  The more people know about heart disease, the better they can identify early signs, as well as make lifestyle and other health decisions to manage the progression of the disease. 

  1. Cardiovascular disease causes an average of one death every 37 seconds in the United States. Know the warning signs of a heart attack because this deadly disease claims as many lives as cancer, chronic lung disease, accidents, and diabetes combined.
  2. Heart attack symptoms can be different in men and women. Men tend to report more chest pain symptoms, while women have been shown to report unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, and anxiety.
  3. 1 in 3 adults in the US has high blood pressure, and men are about 30% LESS likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. Encouraging your parents to get their blood pressure checked could save their lives.
  4. Chewing an aspirin helps during a heart attack. If you have signs of a heart attack, be sure to first call 911. Then, chew on a 325 mg aspirin. Many heart attacks result from a clot that forms when plague clogs an artery. Aspirin helps make clots go away.
  5. A flu shot can help your heart. Heart disease can make you too weak to fight off the flu, and the flu can make heart disease worse.
  6. There are many different factors that place you at higher risk for heart disease. Some of the most common heart disease risks include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, depression, and obesity.
  7. Certain behaviors can also put you at risk for heart disease. These behaviors include smoking, eating a poor diet, not exercising, and drinking alcohol excessively.
  8. Arteries are only about 4 millimeters in diameter. It doesn’t take too much of those fatty, greasy foods over the period of a decade or so to start clogging up the arteries. If an artery is blocked for 30 minutes or more, the area of the heart that that artery supplies will become corroded or die.
  9. Sitting is an independent risk factor for heart disease. Sedentary behavior may be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or impaired insulin sensitivity according to the American Heart Association.
  10. Being physically inactive at the lowest level puts you at higher heart risk than smoking. Only about 40% of people are getting enough activity to meet the guidelines according to a Johns Hopkins study. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day at least five times a week is recommended.

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