Will be you be a victim of America’s number one killer?
February is American Heart Month
In addition to being America’s number one killer, cardiovascular disease is also a major cause of disability. While celebrating with Valentine hearts this month, let’s be mindful of the hard-working heart that keeps us alive and give it a little TLC. Learn the warning signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke.
Surprising Facts About Cardiovascular Disease
- More than 82 million American adults are estimated to have one or more types of cardiovascular disease — that’s one in three people.
- On average 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day.
- Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women 20 and older, killing about one woman every minute.
- More women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined — including all forms of cancer.
- Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Between 70 and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
- A report by The Institute of Medicine finds that even brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger a heart attack.
Warning Signs of Heart Attack
Some heart attacks come on quickly and with intense symptoms, but most begin with mild pain or discomfort, leading victims to delay medical care. Signs of potential heart attack are:
- Discomfort, pressure, or pain in the center of the chest, sometimes going away and returning later.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath.
- Cold sweats, nausea, lightheadedness.
The American Heart Association, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Red Cross, and the national Council on Aging have launched the Act in Time campaign to increase awareness of heart attack signs and symptoms and the importance of calling 9-1-1 before it’s too late. Delay could prove fatal.
Warning Signs of Stroke
- Weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially if it is concentrated on one side of the body.
- Confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding.
- Trouble seeing out of one or both eyes.
- Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, trouble walking.
- Severe headache of unknown origin.
Every second counts — heart attack and stroke are life-threatening! Seek medical care immediately.