Heart disease, also referred to as cardiovascular disease, refers to many conditions that affect the heart. Heart diseases can cause narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Other conditions of the heart include arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and congenital heart defects (heart problems you’re born with).
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death, for men and women, in the United States – one American dies every 38 seconds – and stroke is number five. A study conducted in 2017 found that 46% of Americans have high blood pressure and by 2030, 45.1% of the population will have some form of cardiovascular disease. Below are some common symptoms to watch out for, risks to avoid, and some things you can do to help prevent heart disease.
Symptoms of heart disease include:
- Chest pain, tightness, pressure, or discomfort (also referred to as angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the jaw, throat, neck, shoulder, arm, upper abdomen, or back
- Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness of the legs or arms (this may indicate that the blood vessels in those parts of the body have narrowed resulting in poor blood circulation)
Risk factors of heart disease include:
Recommendations for preventing heart disease:
- Be active for at least 150 minutes per week (even if you need to break it up into 10 minute intervals)
- Limit your intake of sodium, trans-fats, saturated fats, and added sugars
- Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables
- QUIT SMOKING!!
Heart disease is easiest to treat when detected early. If you believe you’re experiencing any signs or symptoms, contact our cardiology department to schedule an appointment at 801.965.3419 today!