Heart attacks are a common occurrence and heart disease is still the number one killer of people in America. Although not every heart attack is fatal, they can put you at increased risk in the long term and do a lot of damage in the short term. What is the best way to avoid having one? Prevention! It is suggested that approximately 80% of all heart disease is avoidable. Here is what you can do to reduce your risks:
- 20-30% of heart attacks are “silent” and don’t receive treatment.
- African-Americans have a 2:1 ratio of suffering sudden cardiac arrest compared to Caucasians.
- A heart attack needs to receive treatment within 30 minutes to prevent permanent damage.
- It takes 2 years after quitting smoking for your heart attack risk to drop.
- Women are 2-3 times more likely to die within a few weeks of having a heart attack.
- 35 inches for women and 38 inches for men are the maximum waist circumferences that women/men should achieve to reduce risk of heart attacks.
Signs & Symptoms:
- Extreme fatigue
- Sudden sweating
- Pain/pressure in chest (left side esp.)
- Feeling of doom
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in shoulder, neck, jaw, or upper back
- Fasting Blood sugar below 100 mg/dL
- Blood Pressure below 120/80 mmHG
- Total Cholesterol under 200 mg/dL
- Triglicerides below 150 mg/dL
- HDL levels >40/>50 mg/dL for men/women
- LDL levels under 100 mg/dL
- Eat a well balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit
- Be sure you are exercising regularly (at least 10,000 steps per day)
- Stop Smoking! And avoid 2nd & 3rd hand smoke
- Add things to your diet that promote heart health (nuts)
- Avoid sugar, fried foods, and foods with excess fats
- Decrease stress (chiropractic, acupuncture, meditation)
- Supplement with heart health in mind (omega-3’s)
Other Health Topics:
Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
American Heart Association
LA Times “Heart Attacks” – Melanie Haiken