Take No Chances With Heart Disease
Americans die from heart disease more often than any other cause, including accidents and cancer. Prevention is vital, but so is early detection of the disease. Though some heart attacks strike without warning, most attacks are precipitated by symptoms. Fifty percent of heart attack victims delay getting help for over two hours.
Knowing what symptoms to look for can save a life. According to the American Heart Association, heart attack sufferers experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Pressure or squeezing in chest area for more than a few minutes
- Pain spreading to shoulders, neck or arms
- Shortness of breath
Some of these symptoms are associated with other disorders and are not unique to heart trouble, causing people to delay getting help. For instance, angina pectoris is the term for pain in the chest that feels something like heartburn. Angina is usually caused by the heart receiving an insufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood. While some people live with angina and do not suffer heart attacks, a prolonged episode of angina–30 minutes or more–in most people is likely a signal that a heart attack has begun.
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