February is American Heart Month!

Did you know that nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States has high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke? (CDC)

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

What is heart disease?

Heart and blood vessel disease (also called heart disease) includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that develops when a substance called plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can block the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke. (Source: American Heart Association)

What are the signs and symptoms of a heart attack?

According to the American Heart Association, if you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

How to help prevent heart disease?

  • Choose a healthy eating plan
  • Be physically active
  • Find a doctor and have regular wellness exams
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Know your family history
  • Tame your stress

To schedule an appointment with your El Centro provider, please call (713) 660-1880.

Sources: American Heart Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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