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February is National Heart Month

Posted on February 5th, 2014

February is National Heart Month.  According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and is a major cause of disability.  The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack.

How healthy is your heart?

Knowing your risk factors and what you can to do prevent and control heart disease are great first steps towards having a healthy heart.  Some of the risk factors associated with heart disease are:  High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and exposure to secondhand smoke.

What if you did have a heart attack?  Would you recognize the symptoms?

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort 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. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Learn more about what you can do to keep a healthy heart by visiting:

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HeartMonth/

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/lower-risk/find-out.htm

http://millionhearts.hhs.gov