Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. For women that number is higher. Every 80 seconds, one woman is killed by heart disease and stroke. That’s 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. An estimated 85.6 million people in the U.S. are living with cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and chest pain.
Check out these seven pieces of advice to reduce your risk and recognize important warning signs.
Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Partner with your doctor and health care team to set goals for improving your heart health, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and trust theiradvice.
Add exercise to your daily routine. Start off the month by walking 15 minutes, 3 times each week. By mid-month, increase your time to 30 minutes, 3 times each week.
Increase healthy eating. Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least 3 times each week and make your favorite recipe lower sodium. For example, swap out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Take steps to quit smoking. If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more at CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco Use website .
Take medication as prescribed. Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. If you’re having trouble taking your medicines on time or if you’re having side effects, ask your doctor for help.
Learn how to perform CPR and how to use Automated external defibrillators (AEDs). In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, early access to CPR and defibrillation can increase a person’s odds of survival. That is why it is important to have AEDs installed in public places, such as airports, schools, and offices.
Learn the symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Being able to recognize the signs of heart attack and stroke could save your life. Every minute counts during the onset of a heart attack or stroke—the faster you receive medical treatment, the more likely you are to survive and the better your chances of a more complete recovery.
Signs of Heart Attack
Signs of Stroke
*Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, *fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
*Discomfort in neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back
*Shortness of breath
FACE is it drooping? ARMS can you raise them? SPEECH is slurred or jumbled? TIME to call 9-1-1 right away!