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Protect Your Heart All Year Long

Protect Your Heart All Year Long

Protect Your Heart All Year Long

Heart disease continues to be a leading cause of death for our country. Did you know that according to the Center for Disease and Control there was 600,000 deaths due to heart disease last year or about one out of four of all deaths. In addition, there were about 935,000 heart attacks last year. This all came at an expensive cost of 108.9 billion dollars. These deaths include all ethnic groups with African Americans (24.5), Hispanics (20.8), Whites (25.1), and Asians (23.2) suffering from this terrible disease.

It seems as though all groups of people can benefit from learning about heart disease and doing all we can to protect our hearts. We all know that prevention is key. At the same time it is clear that if you are having a heart attack you must get help as soon as possible. Studies have shown that 92 percent of people know that a sign of a heart attack is chest pain. Surprisingly, only 27 percent are aware of other major symptoms and that 911 should be called immediately.

As a reminder, the warning signs include: chest pain, neck, and jaw pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats and nausea. The risk factors include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, family history and increasing age. Symptoms can vary by person, so a good rule is that if there are any concerns get medical help as soon as possible.

Prevention, treatment and our understanding of heart disease has significantly improved. As we start a new year, do all that you can to be good to your heart. Follow the advice of your health care providers, eat healthy, exercise, avoid smoking, improve your weight and listen to your heart.

This has been your one minute doctor visit. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact me.

Darryl Hill, M.D.FACP