Heart Attack or Stroke? Facts, Risks, 10 Signs to Act Now
According to CDC Million Hearts, cardiovascular disease causes 1 in 3 US deaths, with one-fifth of them occurring in people under the age of 65. Each year, Americans suffer 1,500,000 heart attacks and strokes, making them two of the most widespread US health problems .
Your body depends on your heart, vessels, and blood (the cardiovascular system) to transport nutrients and oxygen. Over time, arteries may narrow from cholesterol buildup. If a blood clot blocks a narrowed vessel, tissues with low blood supply (ischemia) start to die. In the heart, this is called a heart attack, or myocardial infarction. In the brain, it's called an ischemic stroke. A less common stroke type, hemorrhagic, occurs if a blood vessel ruptures in the brain.
Signs of heart attack and stroke are a life-threatening emergency. If warning signs are present, call 9-1-1 immediately:
If you suspect a stroke, act FAST:
Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop? Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? Speech: Ask the person to repeat a short phrase. Is their speech slurred or jumbled? Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately and note the time.
Time is essential during heart attack or stroke. Rapid treatment greatly increases the victim's chance of survival, and reduces complications like disability and rehabilitation time [2,3].
The risk factors you can influence are:
· unhealthy cholesterol
· being overweight
· low physical activity
· more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day
Tune in next week to learn about cholesterol!
Workplace Wellness Wednesday is an awareness bulletin to help you make healthy lifestyle choices. It is not a substitute for your healthcare provider.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Costs & Consequences. Million Hearts website. https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/learn-prevent/cost-consequences.html. Accessed January 24, 2017.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke Treatment. https://www.cdc.gov/stroke/treatments.htm. Accessed February 6, 2017.
3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What is a Heart Attack? https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartattack/. Accessed February 6, 2017.
Excerpt: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leading causes of death and numbers of deaths, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin: United States, 1980 and 2014. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf#019. Accessed February 8, 2017.