Heart disease remains the number 1 cause of death in America
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - High blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, and tobacco use are all common things that can lead to heart disease.
Every 34 seconds, someone dies from a heart-related illness, so doctors want to remind you of ways to lower your risk and recognize if you have a heart attack.
One way to lower your chances of developing heart disease is to talk with your doctor about your risk factors. If you have a strong family history, you and your doctor can create a plan to develop habits that will lower your risk. You also need to visit your doctor regularly to check for any changes. Doctors say if you are at high risk, you must know the symptoms of a heart attack. Symptoms include chest pressure, nausea, arm or back pain, and dizziness, but they can differ for men and women.
“Everybody presents a little bit differently,” said Mark Reitzner, a Physician Assistant in the cardiac unit of CoxHealth. “Women typically have a little bit more subtle symptoms. It doesn’t have to be crushing chest pain. It could just be pressure in my chest and may not be very bad. But any type of kind of abnormal sensation in the chest can be a symptom of that.”
While heart disease can be hereditary, it can also be prevented. Doctors want you to keep these tips in mind to stay heart healthy.
First, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods when making meals, and try to get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day.
Next, avoid tobacco products. If you smoke a pack a day, you are twice as likely to have a heart attack, but in as little as 24 hours after quitting, your chances begin to decrease significantly.
Finally, talk to your doctor if you have a family history of heart disease to monitor your risk factors and develop a plan to lower your risk.
“Maybe your blood pressure’s high, maybe your weight up and just taking ownership of that and instead of letting it go year after year of not really managing or treating that,” said Reitzner.
Click HERE to see a map of the prevalence of heart disease in the United States by county.
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