The facts on heart attacks
Cardiovascular disease accounts for more deaths in the U.S. than cancer, accidents and diabetes combined. Over half a million people die from heart attacks each year. That’s why it’s so important to know about the risk factors and what you can do about them.
There are two types of risk factors – those you can’t influence and those you can.
Examples of risk factors you cannot influence
- Family history
- Other factors, including gender and previous heart attacks or strokes
Examples of risk factors you can influence
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Other factors include physical inactivity, diabetes and weight
Reducing the odds of a second heart attack
Living a pro-heart lifestyle can help you avoid another heart attack or ischemic stroke. Here are a few tips to remember:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthy foods (low in fat, salt and cholesterol)
- Be physically active
- Control high blood pressure
- Get regular medical checkups
Warning signs of a suspected heart attack
- Chest pressure, tightness and heaviness
- Pain in shoulders, neck, jaw or arms
- Shortness of breath with or without chest pain
What to do if you suspect a heart attack
- Call 911
- Crush or chew an aspirin as directed by a doctor
- Chewing at least two low-dose (81mg) aspirin or one regular-strength (325mg) aspirin at the first sign of a suspected heart attack can help save your life.
This article is for imformation purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For more information please contact your family doctor or nutritionist.