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February is American Heart Month

January 31, 2014

During the month of February, all Americans are urged to join the American Heart Association in their fight against cardiovascular disease. This month is a prime opportunity to learn how healthy living plays a significant role in preventing heart disease and stroke.

Cardiovascular disease affects one in three adults. Every 37 seconds, one American dies from heart disease. This is, in fact, our nation's greatest killer. Heart disease claims more lives than cancer, lung disease, accidents and diabetes combined.

The American Heart Association suggests seven steps to ideal cardiovascular health:

  1. Quit Smoking
  2. Exercise Regularly
  3. Healthier Diet
  4. Maintain a healthy BMI
  5. Regulate blood pressure
  6. Control cholesterol
  7. Reduce Fasting Blood Sugar

All Americans should have a basic understanding of the typical warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Recognizing these signs could save your life or someone else's.

Signs of a Heart Attack:

  • Discomfort, pressure, fullness or squeezing in chest
  • Shooting pain in shoulders, neck or arms
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating or shortness of breath

Signs of a Stroke:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, leg or body
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • loss of speech
  • Sudden and severe headaches
  • Dizziness or suddenly falling

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