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Preventing Heart Disease

Tips for Preventing Heart Disease

1 in 4 deaths in America are due to heart disease.

Let's Start With The Scary Part

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and here in St. Lawrence County.

The Good News: You Can Do Something About It

Eighty percent of cardiac and stroke events can be prevented. You may not be able to change risk factors like age and a family history of heart disease, but you can take control of your health, learn about prevention, and incorporate heart-healthy practices into your life. So ask yourself: what if you made better choices along the way? 

What If You Knew Your Risk?

Understanding your risk is key to heart disease prevention. Age, gender, diet, tobacco and alcohol use, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes all determine whether a person is at risk of developing heart disease. If you know which risks factors affect you the most, you can determine where to start making healthy changes.

Steps to Help You Prevent Heart Disease

Gender and Your Heart

Heart attack symptoms can differ between men and women.

Both men and women can experience classic heart attack symptoms like shortness of breath and pain and pressure in the upper chest, left shoulder, and one or both in arms. But women can also experience heart attacks without chest pressure, and sometimes exhibit subtler symptoms like nausea, cold sweats, lightheadedness, and extreme fatigue that can be mistaken as indigestion or the flu. If you have any of these symptoms, don’t wait—go to the emergency room immediately.

What If You Could Save A Life?

  • Call 911. Paramedics can provide treatment as they transport the heart attack victim to a hospital, and the dispatcher can walk you through what to do until help arrives. 
  • If the person is conscious, help them chew and swallow an Aspirin. An adult dose of the painkiller can help dissipate blood clots and minimize muscle damage. Chewing the aspirin allows it to work faster. Make sure the person isn’t allergic to Aspirin. 
  • If the person is unconscious, begin CPR. If you aren’t formally trained in CPR, doctors suggest performing rapid chest compressions – 100 per minute – and skipping mouth-to-mouth. 
  • Find an automated defibrillator. Have someone set up the device as you perform CPR. Attach the device and follow the instructions. The device will calculate the person’s heart rhythm and will determine whether defibrillation is needed. 

We Are Here to Help

Heart health is about incorporating healthy practices into your everyday life for the long haul.

Making time for the things you love and committing to a healthy lifestyle goes a long way towards heart health. Eighty percent of cardiac and stroke events are preventable. So be good to yourself—your heart will thank you. For more information on heart health, or to make an appointment with a cardiologist, visit St. Lawrence Health System’s cardiology department.