AUSTIN (KXAN) — Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and is also the number one killer of women. According to the C-D-C, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. But it doesn’t just happen suddenly. It takes decades to develop, and your risk increases as you age.
Dr. Caitlin Giesler from Seton Medical Center spoke to KXAN Saturday morning and explained how making healthy choices can help prevent a heart attack.
According to Dr. Giesler, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 600,000 Americans die of heart disease each year. That’s one in every four deaths in this country. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type is coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack. Other kinds of heart disease may involve the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.
The symptoms vary depending on the type of heart disease. For many people, chest discomfort or a heart attack is the first sign. Someone having a heart attack may experience several symptoms, including chest pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away after a few minutes, pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back.
More symptoms include weakness, light-headedness, nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), or a cold sweat. Also pain or discomfort in the arms or shoulder as well as shortness of breath.
You can take several steps to reduce your risk for heart disease: Don’t smoke. Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet. Exercise regularly. physical activity fosters normal growth and development, can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, and can make people feel better, function better, and sleep better.