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Heart Health & Heart Attacks

February is American Heart Month! Did you know that every 40 seconds someone in the US has a heart attack? Today on the blog we’ll be exploring heart attacks- what causes them, how to prevent them, and warning signs to look out for. 

What exactly is a heart attack? 

What are the risk factors? 

  • Family history of heart attacks 
  • Poor diet, especially a diet high in sugar, fat, and salt/sodium 
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity/being overweight 
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Smoking 
  • Drinking too much alcohol 
  • Using tobacco (including chewing tobacco and vaping
  • Drug abuse 
  • Stress (be sure to check out the blog next week when we look at managing stress!) 

What are the symptoms of a heart attack? 

  • Men and women experience heart attacks differently. Women are more likely to die from heart attacks because their symptoms are different.  
  • Men 
    • Chest pain, especially pain that spreads/radiates 
    • Difficulty breathing 
    • Nausea/indigestion  
    • Anxiety 
    • Heart palpitations 
    • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy 
    • Sweating  
  • Women 
    • Chest pressure 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Weakness 
    • Fatigue 
    • Clammy sweat 
    • Dizziness 
    • Nausea/vomiting  
    • Pain in the jaw 
Picture illustrating the different heart attack symptoms of men and women.
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/heart_attack.htm

What can I do to prevent heart attacks

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet (click here for a shopping list from health.gov
  • Drink alcohol in moderation 
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Stay active 
  • Quit smoking 
  • Manage your stress  
  • Talk with your doctor about your risk of heart attacks  

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