BY TERRI BRYCE REEVES
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, claiming about 1 million lives annually.
Make sure you live a heart-healthy lifestyle by eating a diet that is low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium; get 30 minutes of exercise each day; maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels; quit smoking and avoid high stress by taking time out to laugh, listen to music, meditate – just make sure to have some happy time. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
Finally be aware of the signs of a heart attack. Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these warning signs. Although some heart attacks are sudden and intense, most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Pay attention to your body — and call 911 if you feel:
Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or
discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Source: American Heart Association