Doctors Explain Heart Attack Warning Signs - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Doctors Explain Heart Attack Warning Signs

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States each year, that's 1 in every 4 deaths. With February being American Heart Month, we take a closer look at some of the warning signs.

Every year, roughly 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. And, it's not just the men.

"We do see a fair number of women that come in with heart attacks and the problem with that is women don't necessarily come in," says Jerilyn Alexander, Trinity Health Stroke Semi Coordinator.

Heart Attack symptoms typically include chest pain and shortness of breath.  But, for women, symptoms can be difficult to distinguish.  Women can experience pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back, and feel weak, light-headed, or faint.

Alexander says, "As soon as you recognize the symptoms you may be having a heart attack, you need to come to the hospital right away."

It usually takes people 2-3 hours to act on their symptoms before they go into the ER, but that can actually cause more harm to your heart.

"That tissue, that's dying you know," says Alexander.  "We can't get that back and so, that's going to make the heart have to work harder to pump the blood and supply the body with blood."

On Average, Trinity Hospital treats about 30-40 heart attack victims each month with the majority being men.  But, knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack can save your life.

To prevent heart disease, Alexander recommends making healthy choices and managing medical conditions.

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