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Go red in February for heart disease awareness: By Mike English, RN, Clinical Educator
February 24, 2015

February is designated as heart disease awareness month.  Wearing the color red in the month of February serves as a reminder of this killer disease.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.  Heart disease is the number one killer of women, which causes approximately 1 in 3 deaths each year.  That equates to one woman every minute.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.  Approximately 600,000 people die every year from heart disease in the United States.  Heart disease can be linked to about 1 in every 4 deaths.

 

Heart disease continues to be a silent killer among Americans.  It is important to recognize and identify symptoms when they present themselves.  Many women tend to ignore the symptoms because they present similar to those of stress or illness.  Heart attacks often present themselves with symptoms similar to those of the flu which include: sweating, nausea, pressure and jaw pain.  Some symptoms to look for are:

 

-          Uncomfortable pressure or squeezing in the chest that lasts for a few minutes or goes away and comes back within minutes

-          Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the neck, jaw, or stomach

-          Shortness of breath

-          Cold sweats, nausea or lightheadedness

 

Prevention of heart disease can be achieved by eating a heart healthy diet which includes limiting your intake of fatty, greasy and salty foods.  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including exercising on a regular basis, will help to decrease risks associated with heart disease.

 

If you and your doctor agree that exercise would be beneficial to your specific health needs, please contact the Wellness Center at Madison Health at 740-845-7275.  Monthly memberships are available.

 

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms associated with a heart attack, please call 9-1-1 immediately to seek medical attention. Time is of the essence. 

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