Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.
When people talk about heart disease, they are usually talking about coronary heart disease (CHD). It’s also called coronary artery disease (CAD). This is the most common type of heart disease. When someone has CHD, the coronary arteries (tubes) that take blood to the heart are narrow or blocked. This happens when cholesterol and fatty material, called plaque (“plak”), build up inside the arteries.
Plaque is caused by:
- Too much fat and cholesterol in the blood
- High blood pressure
- Too much sugar in the blood (diabetes)
When plaque blocks an artery, it’s hard for blood to flow to the heart. A blocked artery can cause chest pain or a heart attack.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Take steps today to lower your risk of heart disease.
To help prevent heart disease, you can:
- Eat healthy.
- Get active.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Manage stress.
Warning Signs of Heart Attack, Stroke & Cardiac Arrest
If these signs are present CALL 9-1-1
Heart Attack Symptoms
- CHEST DISCOMFORT
Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- DISCOMFORT IN OTHER AREAS OF THE UPPER BODY
Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- SHORTNESS OF BREATH
with or without chest discomfort.
- OTHER SIGNS
may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- Spot a stroke F.A.S.T.
- FACE DROOPING
Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
- ARM WEAKNESS
Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- SPEECH DIFFICULTY
Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
- TIME TO CALL 9-1-1
If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.
Cardiac Arrest Symptoms
- SUDDEN LOSS OF RESPONSIVENESS
No response to tapping on shoulders.
- NO NORMAL BREATHING
The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.
For more information go to www.heart.org