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February Is American Heart Health Month

Doctor Holding Red Heart

Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 190,000 happen in people who have already had one. Our weekly health articles during February will be devoted to helping you better understand heart disease. Understanding your risks, associated symptoms and preventative methods can help keep your heart healthy.

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease includes any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally, such as stroke, high blood pressure, angina, and rheumatic heart disease. It's easier to treat when it's detected early.

Per the CDC, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque that builds up in the walls of your arteries. As the plaque builds up, the amount of space in your arteries narrows, making it harder for blood to flow. Not having enough blood flow to your heart can cause a heart attack.

Am I Having a Heart Attack?

The following symptoms could indicate that you are having a heart attack:

  • An uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or pain in the chest area that goes away and comes back or lasts several minutes.
  • A sudden pain in your back, stomach, jaw and in one or both of your arms.
  • Shortness of breath with some discomfort in your chest.
  • Break out in cold sweat, experience nausea or lightheadedness.

If you think you are having a heart attack, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention by calling 911. Every second counts and it could be the difference between life and death. The chances of surviving a heart attack are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly.

Drexel Cardiology

Drexel Cardiology provides outstanding heart care and utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic and testing equipment, while adhering to the highest standards of patient care. Our cardiologists specialize in heart attack, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, irregular heartbeats and advanced heart failure. Drexel Cardiology also offers comprehensive risk assessment to those who wish to prevent cardiac disease before symptoms arise.

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.

The images being used are for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted is a model.

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