Cardiovascular Disease - Informa...

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Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

It’s February and you know what that means! Hearts, hearts and more hearts! And no, I’m not talking about Valentine's Day, I’m talking about National Heart Month! Maintaining your personal heart health is among the best and easiest way to prevent cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease),  and protect your heart. Here are a few bite-sized bits of info you keep you in-the-know about cardiovascular disease.  

Symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease affects over 18 Million individuals in the United States with someone succumbing to it every 36 seconds. While those facts can be frightening, it’s important to understand the symptoms and complications that can define cardiovascular disease. In a recent research article from the Mayo Clinic, they outline some of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease in humans and what they mean. 

One of the first signs of cardiovascular disease are continuous chest pains. These types of pains include chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort. Often chest pains can lead to shortness of breath. Another common sign of cardiovascular disease are pains in your arms & legs. Pain in your legs and arms, coupled with numbness, weakness may be a sign that the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed and that you’re suffering from a cardiovascular disease. Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back are also not uncommon. 

Causes of Cardiovascular Disease

According to the CDC, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are among the three top causes for cardiovascular disease. Luckily, all 3 of these are treatable or manageable, as you’ll read later, but they aren’t the only causes. Stress and obesity are two other primary causes of cardiovascular disease. These two factors often lead to the top three causes. Stress can lead to cardiovascular disease as it can damage arteries and further other heart issues. Obesity can cause diabetes which increases the chances of cardiovascular disease.  

Now, there are a few causes of cardiovascular disease that are out of your hands.  These are age, gender, and family history. It’s been documented that age can cause arteries to become narrow and damaged while the heart can be weakened and thickened with age. It has also been documented that men tend to suffer from cardiovascular disease more than women. Lastly, if your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, you will have a much greater risk than those with families who don’t.

The Difference of Cardiovascular Disease in Men and Women

Did you know that men and women experience cardiovascular disease differently? In fact, according to John Hopkins University, women tend to show atypical symptoms making it harder to detect issues such as heart attacks. 

Dr. Lili Barouch, the director of the Johns Hopkins Columbia Heart Failure Clinic, says,  "Women are much more likely to have atypical heart attack symptoms, So while the classical symptoms, such as chest pains, apply to both men and women, women are much more likely to get less common symptoms such as indigestion, shortness of breath, and back pain…”

Men tend to show what are considered “typical” symptoms. This can range from severe pain and discomfort in their upper body, namly the in the arms and neck as well as the aforementioned chest pains. 

How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Understanding the Symptoms and Causes, as well as possible differences in the way men and women experience cardiovascular disease, is the best way for prevention. Cardiovascular Disease is about 80% preventable. That’s right, 80%! For starters, the best way to lower your risk of heart disease is by changing your diet by taking out fat-heavy and overly-salty meals and snacks. Getting up and staying fit is another great way to lower the risks. Quitting smoking or avoiding smoking, as well as second-hand smoke, is one of the best ways to avoid cardiovascular disease. Lastly, seeing a cardiologist regularly is another way to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease as monitoring & testing can be recorded. Cardiologists may also often prescribe medications to aid in the treatment as well. 

HealthCARE Express Cares For Your Health

At HealthCARE Express, we are committed to improving your overall health. While we don’t specialize in cardiovascular health, we do offer regular check-ups that can help determine if there may be an issue. In addition to check-ups, if we do determine there may be an issue, we can recommend a cardiovascular specialist to help you understand what’s going on. At some locations we even offer weight loss and health class to help you mitigate the risks that lead to cardiovascular disease.  If you or a loved one are suffering from a heart-attack or stroke, please call 911 immediately for emergency help. A little bit of prevention now will help to keep cardiovascular disease away in the future.
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