February is Heart Health Month

Heart Disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in Maine (2,652 deaths in 2009) and still the number 1 killer of women across the country. It describes a variety of conditions that affect your heart and/or blood vessels including: coronary artery disease, heart attack, and congestive heart failure.

People are at greater risk for heart disease if they have high blood pressure, smoke, are overweight, eat foods high in salt/sodium, do not exercise regularly, and drink alcohol regularly.  Positive, healthy lifestyle choices can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease.

Heart attacks may not be like what you see in the movies- sudden and intense. Many heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain and discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what is wrong and wait too long before getting help.

In Maine during 2009, there were more than 500 deaths and 4,000 hospitalizations due to heart attack. Only 15.1% of Maine adults could correctly identify all the symptoms of a heart attack and knew to call 9-1-1 for help.

Heart attack warning signs include:

   Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back

   Feeling week, lightheaded or faint

   Chest pain or discomfort

   Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders

   Shortness of breath

   Women often report symptoms of discomfort rather than pain.

If you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately!

For more information, contact:

Nancy Laite, Knox County Community Health Coalition, nllaite2@myfairpoint.net

Or the CDC - Heart Disease at  http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/


~ KCCHC – Community Outreach for the Penobscot Bay YMCA ~

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