In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease.
Heart disease causes the deaths of over half a million people in the U.S. annually, which totals a quarter of all deaths in men and women each year. Approximately three quarters of a million U.S. heart deaths are from heart attack - most of these are first time heart attacks.
What is a myocardial infarction?
The definition of myocardial infarction is the medical term for heart attack.
Sudden cardiac arrest means that the heart …
When the heart suddenly stops beating, it is referred to as a sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest stops the blood from flowing to vital organs, including the brain.
Symptoms of a heart attack can include …
The many symptoms of heart disease include:
- shortness of breath,
- chest discomfort and/or pain,
- chest heaviness,
- vomiting, and
- pain that radiates to the jaw, arm, or throat.
Sometimes heart disease causes no symptoms at all.
People with the symptoms above persisting for longer than five minutes should call 9-1-1 immediately for emergency medical care. Your doctor should be notified for symptoms lasting less than five minutes. Urgent evaluation and care is key in preventing injury and death.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women.
Heart disease is the leading killer of women, leading to more women dying each year than all cancer deaths combined! Older women are more likely to have heart disease, however all women should be screened for prevention and early treatment.
Risks for heart disease include …
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse. Important risk factors for heart disease are:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Being overweight
- Lack of exercise
- Having a family history of early heart disease
- Age (55 or older for women)
In the heart, a clogged artery causes a heart attack. In the brain it causes a _______________.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is significantly impaired. A stroke that results from inadequate blood supply to the brain is referred to as an ischemic stroke. When a blood vessel to the brain breaks open and bleeds, it causes a hemorrhagic stroke.
When heart trouble is sensed, who waits at least two hours before help is called?
Unfortunately, Americans typically wait over two hours before calling for help when they have symptoms of heart disease. This can be a dangerous mistake.
The term "heart failure" means the heart has stopped working completely.
When the heart does not pump strongly enough to circulate blood throughout the body, the condition is referred to as heart failure. This can occur because of heart muscle weakness or inadequate filling of blood into the heart chambers.
People can be born with heart disease.
Congenital heart disease and congenital heart defects are heart problems that are present at birth. There are many forms of heart defects including abnormal development of the heart muscle, heart valves, and blood vessels into and out of the heart. Heart defects are common birth abnormalities, present in over 30,000 infants born annually.
Has heart disease ever been responsible for half of the deaths in America?
Heart disease and stroke were the causes of 50% of deaths in the U.S. by 1950. At that time, it was not fully understood what led to cardiovascular disease, and heart deaths were common in people 50 years of age.
The most common type of heart disease in the U.S. is:
The most common form of heart disease in the U.S. is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD causes heart attacks because the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle is inadequate. Lifestyle changes and medications can reduce the risk of CAD.
The medical term for chest pain is _________________.
Chest pain that is a result of poor blood supply and oxygen to the heart muscle is called angina.
Images provided by:
American Heart Association: 2016 Statistics at a glance.
NIH: Congenital Heart Disease
NIH: Cardiovascular Disease
CDC. Heart Attack.
NHLBI. What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?
Womenshealth.gov. Know the Symptoms.
Womenshealth.gov. Heart disease fact sheet.
American Heart Association. Facts About Heart Disease in Women.
NHLBI. What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?
NHLBI. Life After a Heart Attack.
NHLBI. What Is Heart Failure?
American Heart Association. About Congenital Heart Defects.
American Pregnancy Association. Congenital Birth Defects.
NIH. Cardiovascular Disease.
CDC. Heart Disease.
NHLBI. What Is Angina?
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