Heart Disease is Equal Opportunity Killer
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† February may be designated as Heart Month, but heart disease is a serious matter every day of the year. Heart disease is America‚Äôs No. 1 killer and according to the American Heart Association, more women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúHeart disease often is thought of as a disease that strikes men more than women,‚ÄĚ said Douglas County Health Director, Dr. Adi Pour. ‚ÄúOur data shows that is not the case.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Final statistics for 2010 show that 394 Douglas County women died of heart disease compared to 376 men during the year.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary artery disease can lead to a heart attack. You are more likely to survive a heart attack if you know the symptoms and call 9-1-1 quickly.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chest pain or discomfort.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Shortness of breath.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† While these are the major symptoms, in many cases, especially those involving women, the symptoms often are less severe and may be as subtle as a flu-like feeling.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† While heart disease remains the nation‚Äôs leading cause of death, Dr. Pour pointed out there are many things that can be done to reduce the chances that you will have a heart attack.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Those include: preventing and controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol; monitoring diabetes; avoiding smoking and second-hand smoke; limiting alcohol use; maintaining a healthy weight; being active; and eating healthy food.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Consuming less sodium also is an excellent way to reduce your chances of a heart attack.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúOther diseases may receive more attention, but heart disease is the top killer,‚ÄĚ Dr. Pour stated.