Understanding Heart Attacks- The sooner you begin risk reduction, the longer and stronger your heart will beat

Written by Contributor. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on January 30, 2019 with No Comments

by the American Heart Association

Every year, tens of thousands of Americans survive heart attack, go back to work and enjoy a normal life. You have every reason to be confident of a full recovery. Your heart is healing and with each passing day you’ll get stronger and more active. The following questions and answers will help you better understand what has happened to you and how you get started on the road to recovery.

Warning signs of a heart attack

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense – the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. 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:

• 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 with or without chest discomfort.

• Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter.  Fast action can save lives – maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 911 or your emergency response number.

Symptoms of heart disease which may lead to a heart attack

You may be experiencing cardiovascular problems if you notice that ordinary physical activity causes you to experience the following symptoms:

• Undue fatigue

• Palpitations – the sensation that your heart is skipping a beat or beating too rapidly

• Dyspnea – difficult or labored breathing

• Chest pain – chest discomfort from increased activity Angina pectoris also called stable angina or chronic stable angina

• Unstable angina

The time is now to reduce your risks

The American Heart Association recommends that heart attack prevention begin by age 20. This means assessing your risk factors and working to keep them low. For those over 40, or those with multiple risk factors, it’s important to calculate the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years. Many first-ever heart attacks or strokes are fatal or disabling, so prevention is critical. The sooner you begin comprehensive risk reduction, the longer and stronger your heart will beat.

For more information about the American Heart Association’s, visit www.heart.org.

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