SPRINGFIELD – Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the number one killer of both men and women. Learning the symptoms and risk factors associated with heart disease are important steps you can take to protect your health and know when to seek treatment.
According to Mercy Health Physician and interventional cardiologist Sayed Rizvi, MD, while symptoms such as uncomfortable pressure or pain in the center of the chest tend to be the most common signs of a heart attack, 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 different to chest pain. It is 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,” said Dr. Rizvi. “As a cardiologist, I recommend that my patients learn more about those risk factors and what they can do to lower them. I also encourage them to ask questions and take an active role in their health care.”
Tobacco use, high blood pressure or cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity or being overweight or a family history of heart disease are all risk factors for heart disease.
“Even the smallest changes in your diet and exercise habits can reduce your risk for developing heart disease,” Rizvi said. “You can start by focusing on the risk factors you 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, he said.
Submitted by Mercy Health.