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Heart Health

It has been a year and a half since I had open heart surgery and I am thankful that I can now say that I feel pretty good most of the time. It has been a slow recovery to my former self, but I feel so much healthier than one year ago. I was lucky because I did not actually suffer a heart attack and permanent heart damage. Symptoms alerted me to restrictions of blood flow to the heart that led to my triple bypass.

You may be generally aware of why and what to do to maintain optimum heart health, but do you know these Hearth Health Statistics and are you actually making sufficient lifestyle changes now to prevent a heart attack?

  • Nearly four in ten American adults believe they have ideal heart health (39%). Less than one in ten believes they have poor heart health (5%).
  • The majority of adults have visited a doctor or healthcare professional within the past year (80%).
  • 70% of Americans report being told to make lifestyle changes by a doctor or other healthcare professional.
  • One third report being told each to exercise more (35%) and that they are overweight (33%).
  • One in five adults report currently being a smoker (19%).
  • Fewer than two in ten American adults (15%) achieve AHA’s recommended levels of moderate aerobic exercise, which is 150+ total minutes per week.
  • For more than four of ten adults, eating 9 servings of fruits and veggies (44%) or eating fish at least 2 times per week (45%) is a rare activity.

If you are a woman, are you aware of heart attack signs, that are more subtle than those for a man:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as 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.

If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Better yet, maintain a healthy lifestyle of regular exercise and a good diet – one of my doctor recommends The Omega Diet by Artemis P. Simopoulos, MD and Jo Robinson.