[Infographic] Heart Disease Awareness
There are many different kinds of heart disease. The most common is atherosclerosis (ath-uh-roh-skluh-roh-sis), the buildup of fatty deposits or plaques in the walls of arteries. As plaque builds up, there is less space for blood to flow normally and deliver oxygen throughout the body, including to the heart. Depending on where the buildup is, it can cause a heart attack, leg pain, or a stroke. Atherosclerosis is not part of normal aging and can be serious. There are choices you can make to prevent or delay heart disease, including:
- Don’t smoke
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Avoid spending hours every day sitting
- Keep your diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol under control
- Manage your stress
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol
- Pain in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back
- Shortness of breath when active or at rest
- Chest pain during physical activity that gets better when you rest
- Cold sweats
- Easily tired or fatigued
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, stomach, and/or neck
- Less able to exercise or be physically active
- Problems doing your normal activities
Signs of Heart Disease
Early heart disease often doesn’t have symptoms, or the symptoms may be barely noticeable. This is especially true in older adults. That’s why regular checkups with your doctor are important.
Contact your doctor right away if you feel any chest pain. However, as you get older, chest pain is a less common sign of heart disease, so be aware of other symptoms. Tell your doctor if you feel:
Problems with a rapid or irregular heartbeat are much more common in older adults than younger people and need to be treated. See a doctor if you feel a fluttering in your chest or have the feeling that your heart is skipping a beat or beating too hard, especially if you are weaker than usual, dizzy, or tired.
If you have any signs of heart disease, your doctor may send you to see a cardiologist, a doctor who specializes in the heart.
Learn about National Heart Health Awareness Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The month of February is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and increasing knowledge about prevention. Educate yourself on the dangers of heart disease and get on track to better heart health here! At MyDocHub, we intend to spread the word with this informative infographic.
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