(AscendHealthy.com) – In the United States alone, nearly 655,000 people die from this devastating condition each year, according to the CDC. That averages to one person dying every 36 seconds. Risks can vary depending on a few different factors, and symptoms aren’t always easy to recognize, but many cases are preventable.
Heart attacks can be swift and silent, making them America’s number-one killer. Early treatment can improve a person’s odds, so it’s important to know even the subtle signs. Here’s what to watch out for.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of the Leading Cause of Death in America.
Signs Leading Up to a Heart Attack
Not everybody gets classic signs that they’re going to have a heart attack, but some people experience symptoms that can indicate one may be on its way. Aging.com lists several potential warning signs to be aware of:
- Angina pain, or gradually worsening chest pain caused by irregular or interrupted blood flow, may precede a heart attack.
- Snoring and sleep apnea may cause a strain on the heart and often coincide with heart disease.
- Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of poor circulation.
- An irregular heartbeat sometimes hits before a heart attack.
- Swollen legs and feet can occur when blood flow isn’t moving as it should.
- Dizziness can result when the brain isn’t getting enough regular blood flow.
These symptoms can overlap with numerous other conditions, so many people might feel inclined to brush them off. Don’t ignore them, especially if multiple signs are present. They merit an immediate call to the doctor for further instruction at the very least.
Most Common Heart Attack Symptoms
According to the American Heart Association, the most common signs of a heart attack are chest discomfort, which may extend to the stomach, arm(s) or jaw, and shortness of breath. Discomfort can be downright painful, or it might feel like tightness, squeezing or fullness in the chest or stomach. Some people experience shortness of breath without chest discomfort. Other common signs include cold sweats, nausea and feelings of lightheadedness. Even if symptoms come and go, they could still indicate a medical emergency, so treat them accordingly.
Identifying Heart Attacks in Women
Women do sometimes experience the better-known symptoms of a heart attack, but they’re also more likely to have one or more of the less common signs. Nausea and vomiting are more common symptoms in women, as is jaw pain. They’re also more likely to experience shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting and stomach pain. Some sufferers may assume they have the flu, acid reflux or age-related pains.
Heart attacks may be the leading cause of death in the United States, but we can all work to change that. Nearly half of all cases of heart disease would disappear if high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking were problems of the past. We could cut even more cases with reduced diabetes and obesity rates, better diets, more exercise and less alcohol use. With a little work and a proactive approach to lifestyle, we can all improve our chances of living a long and healthy life.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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