Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country according to the Centers for Disease Control. A heart attack occurs every 40 seconds in the United States. Decreasing risk factors for heart disease such as lowering high blood pressure is an important step in preventing your risk for a heart attack. Additionally, acting quickly is critical in surviving a heart attack. (CDC, 2020) Learn more about high blood pressure and information regarding heart attacks below.

Blood Pressure:

The force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. It's measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

What is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure (HBP) means the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be. Another name for high blood pressure is hypertension.

Controllable Risk Factors:

  • Cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke
  • Diabetes
  • Being obese or overweight
  • High cholesterol
  • Unhealthy diet (high in sodium, low in potassium, and drinking too much alcohol)
  • Physical inactivity

Factors that can't be modified or are difficult to control are:

  • Family history of high blood pressure
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Increasing age
  • Gender (males)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Heart Attacks

What is a heart attack? A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage is most often a build up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances, which form a plaque in the coronary arteries.

What are the risk factors for a heart attack?

  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart attacks
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Stress

What are some ways you can prevent a heart attack?

  • Healthy diet
  • Regular physical activity
  • Stop smoking
  • Manage stress
  • Maintain controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels

What are the signs and symptoms? 

  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

What to do if someone is experiencing these symptoms?

  • Call 911
  • Chew and swallow an aspirin
  • If you are with someone who is experiencing a heart attack begin CPR and get an AED

Other Resources:

Healthy for Good 
Heart Healthy Plate 
10 Ways to Improve Heart Health

References:

CDC. Heart Disease Facts & Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published September 8, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm