Know your risks for heart disease


Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, is the number one killer of both men and women. Learning the symptoms and risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease is the first step to prevention and seeking treatment.

According to Mercy Health Physician and Cardiologist Mian Alam, MD, while symptoms such as uncomfortable pressure or pain in the center of the chest tend to be the most common, there are others that are not as common, but equally as dangerous.

Nausea, dizziness, stomach or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, sweating, weakness or fatigue may all be indicators of a heart attack. Women and diabetics may be more likely to experience symptoms outside of the classic chest pain. It important to be in-tune with your body and realize what your risk factors are.

“There are simple steps people can take to lower that risk of a heart attack or stroke,” Dr. Alam said. “As a cardiologist, I always tell my patients to take responsibility for their health and learn more about those risk factors and what can be done to lower them. I encourage them to ask questions and take an active role in their health care.”

In addition to recognizing heart attack symptoms, it’s important to know what risk factors can affect your heart health. Risk factors include tobacco use, high blood pressure or cholesterol, lack of physical activity, being obese or overweight and a family history of heart disease.

Even the smallest changes in diet and exercise habits can reduce a person’s risk for heart disease. People should start by focusing on the risk factors they can treat and control, such as high cholesterol, alcohol intake and tobacco use.

When people experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if they think may be at risk for heart disease, they should contact their physician.

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Submitted by Mercy Health.

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