The first step in having a healthy heart is to be aware of your risk factors, the symptoms of a heart attack and the appropriate course of action to take if you think you are having a heart attack. Of course, there is always a healthy diet and exercise, too.
Risk Factors of a Heart Attack
The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances for a heart attack. If you have three or more of these risk factors, you should talk with your physician immediately.
- Family history of heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
- Chronic stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
Know the Symptoms of a Heart Attack
If you experience one or more of these symptoms, immediately call 911.
- Severe pressure, fullness, squeezing, pain and/or discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes
- Pain or discomfort that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms, or jaw
- Chest pain that increases in intensity
- Chest pain that is not relieved by rest or by taking nitroglycerin
- Chest pain that occurs with any/all of the following (additional) symptoms:
- Sweating, cool, clammy skin, and/or paleness
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue
- Rapid or irregular pulse
Medication and Lifestyle
Many types of heart conditions can be prevented or treated through lifestyle changes and medication. Below are some of the steps you can take to prevent or treat conditions of the heart:
Women and Heart Disease: A women’s heart is different
The facts about women and heart disease are astonishing, but knowing the facts can prepare you to take a more active role in helping combat heart disease in yourself and those you love.
- Heart disease continues to be the #1 killer of women in the United States
- In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease
- Minority women are at a higher risk for heart disease
- Having diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure
- Having hypertension doubles the risk for cardiovascular disease and heart failure
- Women tend to have non-classic heart attack symptoms (Only 40 percent of women who were having a heart attack actually thought they were, because they didn’t experience pain in their chest)
- People who are physically active reduce their risk of developing heart disease by up to 50 percent
- People who are 30 pounds or more overweight are more likely to develop heart disease even if they have no other risk factors
For a referral to a heart care specialist, call our Christian Hospital physician referral line at 314.747.9355 or 1.877.747.9355, or email us.