Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. According to the American Heart Association, around 2,300 Americans die of heart disease a day.
That’s one death every 38 seconds.
Medical experts have shared the top tips to keep your heart healthy, including regular exercise, high-quality sleep, healthy eating, weight management and more.
“Lifestyle habits, like poor diet choices, smoking and lack of physical activity, can cause plaque to build up in the heart’s arteries over time. This plaque build-up is what causes heart diseases, including coronary artery disease,” says Dr. Sorin Danciu, a cardiologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.
It’s important to recognize the signs of heart disease, too.
Here are the top red flags to watch out for:
- Chest pain: Also known as angina, chest pain is the most common symptom of heart disease and happens when blood flow to the heart is restricted. This can feel like tightness, pressure, aching and discomfort.
- Shortness of breath and fatigue: The decreased blood flow can impact your body’s overall ability to function, causing you to have difficulty breathing or lower energy levels. This can also cause light headedness and dizziness.
- Irregular heartbeats: Also known as arrhythmia, a warning sign of heart disease is quick or irregular heartbeats. This can feel like either a fluttering or a pounding sensation in your chest.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it may be time to consult your doctor and take a closer look at your heart health.
“There are a variety of diagnostic tests that can be done to find and measure any blocked arteries,” Dr. Danciu says. “Most recently, at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, we adopted innovative fractional flow reserve CT technology that allows us to get a 3D view of a patient’s heart to see if there are any blockages. The results from this innovative noninvasive, diagnostic test give us valuable information to help form the best treatment plan for patients.”
Find out your risk for heart disease by taking a simple and easy Heart Risk Assessment.