Did You Know?
February is American Heart Month!
While the month may be coming to an end, we should always focus on our hearts and ensuring our families, friends and communities do the same. Together we can build a culture of health, where making the healthy choice is the easy choice.
Our friends at American Heart Association shared some important facts about the history of American Heart Month, as well as some statistics of which we should all be aware:
- The first American Heart Month took place in February, 1964 and was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson via Proclamation 3566 on December 30, 1963.
- While American Heart Month is a federally designated month in the United States, it’s important to realize that cardiovascular disease knows no borders. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death with more than 17.3 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030.
- On average, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds
- This is about 795,000 new or recurrent strokes each year.
- On average, someone died of a stroke every 4 minutes
- Stroke accounts for ≈1 of every 20 deaths in the United States.
85.7 million – or 34% - of US adults are estimated to have hypertension, based on 2011-2014 data. Hypertension is the leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
- FamilyWize has helped people save over $360 million on heart disease medications since 2005!
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Here are some of the signs that can mean a heart attack is happening.
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
Stroke Warning Signs
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, or trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Dial 9-1-1 FAST
Heart attack and stroke are life-or-death emergencies — every second counts. If you suspect you or someone you are with has any of the symptoms of heart attack or stroke immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number so an ambulance can be sent. Don’t delay — get help right away!
For a stroke, also note the time when the first symptom(s) appeared. If given within 3 to 4.5 hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug may improve the chances of getting better faster.
Source: American Heart Association
© 2016 American Heart Association