February is American Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 801,000 deaths in the US. That’s about 1 of every 3 deaths in the United States. About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.
Take action and lower your risk for developing heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, following all four of these healthy habits prevents or delays heart disease by as much as 82 percent.
- Eat a healthy diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and low fat, low calorie and low sodium foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Live smoke free.
Pay Attention to the Warning Signs of a Heart Attack
Call 9–1–1 and take an aspirin if you have any of these symptoms, no matter how subtle:
- Chest pain or discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
- Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.
- Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort.
- Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting, light-headedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat.
- Sleep problems, fatigue (tiredness), and lack of energy.
According to the American Heart Association, women experience the same common heart attack symptoms as men, such as chest pain or discomfort. But women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back or jaw pain, indigestion or flu-like symptoms.