Lara Salahi (@bostonlara)
May 5, 2015
Heart disease kills more Americans each year than cancer. Find out how much you really know about this killer and how to keep your ticker in top form.
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Which is a symptom of coronary artery disease:
Any of these could indicate that your arteries have narrowed, increasing your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Tell your doctor about your symptoms right away.
Which of the following could be a symptom of a heart attack?
When you think of heart attacks, you may picture someone clutching their chest or struggling to breathe. But many heart attacks begin with subtle symptoms, like nausea, cold sweats or lightheadedness. Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person and between men and women.
Adults at high risk for heart disease should start getting cholesterol checks at age:
Even before you can legally order a glass of wine, you should have regular cholesterol checks if you’re at high risk for heart disease (for example, you smoke or have diabetes or high blood pressure or a family history of early heart disease) according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Which is a healthy blood pressure level?
A systolic pressure (the top number) less than 120 mm Hg and a diastolic pressure (the bottom number) level less than 80 mm Hg is considered normal, according to the American Heart Association. You have prehypertension if your top number is 120 to 139 or your bottom number is 80 to 89.
One of the best places to find your pulse is:
As you get older, changes in your heart rate can signal a heart condition. The top of your foot is a good place to check your pulse, along with your inner wrists, the inside of your elbow and the side of your neck. To get your heart rate, count the beats in 60 seconds. A typical heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
Compared to men, women are more likely to experience this during a heart attack:
According to the American Heart Association, women who are having a heart attack are more likely to experience symptoms like pain in the lower abdomen, dizziness, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue. Men are more likely to experience chest pain or pressure.
How can you tell if someone’s having a stroke?
Facial numbness or drooping on one side, arm weakness on one side and slurred speech are all signs of a stroke. Call 911 right away. Other stroke signs include a sudden severe headache, dizziness and trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Too much salt can up the risk of heart disease, but so can too much dietary:
Dietary cholesterol is not the heart villain people think it is — but sugar is a surprising threat. A 2014 study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine found that people who got 17 to 21 percent of their calories from added sugar had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to people who got 8 percent. Most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men.
How many eggs is it safe to eat per week if you don’t have heart disease?
Eating at least one egg a day is safe for everyone — and even good for you — unless you have diabetes or an inherited condition that causes your body to produce too much cholesterol. Egg yolks are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients crucial to heart, eye and brain function.
Which of these can raise the risk of heart disease?
All of these have been shown to increase the risk. Troubled marriages up the risk of heart disease, especially among older women, according to a Michigan State University study. Chronic use of ibuprofen can lead to a heart attack, according to the UCSF Medical Center. And research links depression with a higher risk of heart disease.
What’s the best exercise for preventing heart disease?
A review in the Proceedings of the Mayo Clinic found excessive endurance training can damage the arteries and that people who do very high intensity exercise over long periods have higher rates of heart problems than people who exercise more moderately. The American Heart Association recommends aerobic exercises like walking, swimming or biking most days for at least 30 minutes.
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