What beats and flows and provides us with life and if left abandoned will alter the length of your time? The heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of disability.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack. About every 25 seconds an American will have a coronary event and about one every minute will die from one.
Did you also know that heart disease is the third-leading cause of death among women ages 25-44? Or that it is the leading cause of death for men of most racial ethnic groups in the United States, including African- American, American Indians, Alaska natives, Hispanics and white.
While these statistics may sound alarming — knowing the risk factors, signs and symptoms will help you identify and prevent a potential attack. Signs to be aware of include: chest discomfort that can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing fullness or pain, discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as the arm, back, neck, jaw or stomach, shortness of breath and even cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
In addition to recognizing signs and symptoms, certain risk factors to consider include too much cholesterol in your body, high blood pressure and diabetes. Lifestyle behaviors such as cigarette smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol use and physical inactivity can increase the risk of heart disease.
So how can I control these risk factors? Simple, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, physical activity and diet, you will contribute to preserving the beat and flow of life — the heart.
For more information concerning heart disease, visit your local health department or visit www.CDC.gov/features/heartmonth.