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Kraig W. Jacobson, M.D.

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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Put your heart into knowing the signs, lowering your risk

Posted by on in Primary Care
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To raise awareness of heart disease in the United States, the American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month. Because heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, ladies are encouraged to wear red for the month, and especially on Friday, Feb. 3, which is National Wear Red Day®. We, here at Oak Street Medical, encourage you to know the signs of a heart attack and learn how to lower your risk of heart disease.

altphoto from Flickr user Larkyn

The American Heart Association recently published a new study outlining the future cost and prevalence of heart disease in the U.S. They predict that by 2030 the cost of heart disease in the U.S. will triple to more than $800 billion a year with 40 percent of the U.S. adult population suffering from one or more forms of cardiovascular disease. These predictions can be reversed with preventative measures, lifestyle changes, and increased education. Now is the time to reverse this trend.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The most common form in the United States is coronary heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack.

The facts:

  • • In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new heart attack; 470,000 had a recurrent attack.
  • • About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one person will die every minute.
  • • Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke, or diabetes can increase your chances of having a heart attack.

Most heart disease is preventable with better diet and exercise. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) focuses on the “ABCS” of cardiovascular disease prevention – appropriate aspirin use, blood pressure and cholesterol control, and smoking cessation. Leading a healthy lifestyle, not using tobacco, being physically active, and maintaining a healthy weight, as well as making healthy food choices, greatly reduce the chance of heart disease.

Most people expect heart attacks to be sudden and intense. However, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often, people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. If you have the following symptoms, call 911.

Heart attack symptoms:

    • • 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. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
    • • Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

    We hope that you will join in the effort and become involved in your own heart health. Please feel free to contact us for more information, or call 541-431-0000 for an appointment.

    National Wear Red Day® is a registered trademark of HHS and AHA.

    Tagged in: Heart Disease

    An energetic problem solver, Dr. Kraig Jacobson has spent his career treating patients and teaching about the complexities of allergy, asthma and immunology. He has practiced medicine in Eugene since 1979. The bigger the challenge, the more he enjoys his work.