A. Early warning signs of heart disease
1. Symptoms of a heart attack (MI - Myocardial Infarction)
If these symptoms are new or last longer than 15 minutes, stop whatever you are doing and sit or lie down. Call 9-1-1- or your local emergency number immediately.
These symptoms can occur anywhere in the upper body, chest, back, jaw, or shoulder blades, and may spread to one or both arms
- Chest pain, chest pressure or chest tightness
- A feeling of indigestion, fullness or heaviness in the chest
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Choking feeling
Other symptoms may be:
The symptoms of a heart attack vary, both in the amount of pain and where it occurs. Therefore, it is important to describe symptoms to your physician and nurse as accurately as possible.
- Sweating (cold or hot)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
2. Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
These symptoms of heart failure occur when the heart fails to pump blood effectively and blood backs up in the heart and other organs.
- A sudden weight gain (2-5 pounds in 1-4 days); weigh yourself daily and at the same time each day.
- Swelling of the lower extremities (legs, ankles).
- Shortness of breath (may be continuous, with exertion or may awaken you at night).
- Frequent, dry, hacking cough without sputum (especially when lying down).
- General fatigue.
B. Major risk factor for heart disease include:
The first three factors (heredity, aging and gender) cannot be changed, but the remaining factors can be controlled (with the help of your physician) to improve health and reduce the risk of early death due to coronary heart disease.
- Heredity (family history of heart disease)
- Aging (over age 40)
- Gender (Men or post-menopausal women)
- Elevated Cholesterol
- Diabetes Mellitus
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Lack of physical activity
See your physician for ways you can maintain a healthy heart and a healthy lifestyle.