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​​​According to the American Heart Association, on the basis of 2017 data, about 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of one death every 40 seconds. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives each year than all forms of cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined. That's why your first priority should be keeping your heart-healthy. Understanding your risk of heart disease is a key step toward heart health and minimizing your risk of or preventing heart disease.​

You could be at risk for heart disease​ if you:

  • Smoke
  • Are overweight
  • Have blood pressure​ 140/90 mm hg or higher
  • Have total cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL​ or higher, low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL), or high levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL)
  • Are a man older than 35 years
  • Are a woman beyond menopause
  • Do not get much exercise or lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • Have a family history of heart disease​
  • Have diabetes
  • Use recreational drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines

Two types of risk factors can affect your risk of heart disease: uncontrollable and controllable. Uncontrollable risk factors are those you cannot change, such as your age, gender, and family health history. Controllable risk factors, however, you can change. Controllable risk factors include excess weight, smoking, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. By making smart lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Talk to your doctor about how you can change or manage your controllable risk factors. If you have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with heart disease, take advantage of our cardiac rehabilitation and/or Leap for Life® program to learn all that you can about heart disease and how you can live a healthy life going forward.

Know The Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Knowing what happens when a heart attack starts may save your life. Most heart attacks actually develop slowly with pain or discomfort that you may not always connect to your heart. Common symptoms of a heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts longer than 15 minutes or goes away and comes back. Many people describe the discomfort as building to an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or burning pain; others report an unbearable crushing pain or persistent tightness in the chest.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: Pain or discomfort may travel to one or both shoulders or arms, the back, neck, and even the jaw or teeth. Some people experience a sustained, burning discomfort in the upper abdomen near the breastbone that may feel like indigestion.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath can accompany feelings of chest discomfort during a heart attack, but it also can occur before any chest pain is felt. Some people may also faint during a heart attack.
  • Other symptoms: Some people report breaking out in a cold sweat, feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated, or belching or vomiting. Chest pain may not accompany these symptoms. Some people experience clammy skin or skin that turns pale or blue, particularly around the mouth.

In women, symptoms may be slightly different. Most women will experience pain or discomfort in their chest but some may not. Other symptoms that a woman might experience include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in the center of the back or in the jaw

Act Fast!

Emergency medical services professionals are trained to manage a heart attack using medications, technology, and guidance from physicians at local hospitals. If you suspect you are having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Main phone number: 469.814.3278  469.814.3278 (HEART)

1.877.814.4488  1.877.814.4488 Toll-free

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