Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February Is American Heart Month

The month of February is used to spread awareness about your heart as well as the problems that can associate with it. Events like National Wear Red Day on February 4, and other Go Red For Women campaigns helps fund-raise to save lives and gets people to start thinking about their heart health.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States as of 2007. Every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and every minute one person will die from one. Heart disease accounts for 25.4% of the total deaths in the United States, but the majority of those deaths can be prevented.

You can reduce your chances of developing coronary heart disease by taking the necessary precautions in your health, and you can help reduce heart disease related deaths by knowing the signs and symptoms of heart attack.

Here are some symptoms that you should look for when identifying a heart attack or a stroke.

·         Chest Discomfort
·         Discomfort in other areas of the upper body
·         Shortness of breath
·         Breaking out into cold sweat
·         Nausea
·         Lightheadedness

·         Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
·         Confusion
·         Trouble speaking or understanding
·         Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
·         Trouble walking, dizziness
·         Loss of balance or coordination
·         Severe headache with no known cause

These symptoms can occur in both men and women, and although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a "man's disease," it is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, as women account for nearly 50% of heart disease deaths.

Heart disease is often perceived as an "older woman's disease," because it is the leading cause of death among women aged 65 years and older. However, in reality, heart disease is the third leading cause of death among women aged 25–44 years and the second leading cause of death among women aged 45–64 years.

You can prevent heart disease in both men and women by opting to not smoke or use tobacco, eating healthy, exercise for 30 minutes, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular health screenings.

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but it doesn't mean that you have to accept it as your fate. Some risk factors such as family history, sex or age will always affect your chances of contracting heart disease, but there are always ways to lower your risk and stay healthy.

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