Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Learn about your risks for heart disease and stroke and stay “heart healthy” for yourself and your loved ones

Understanding the Burden of Cardiovascular disease (CVD)

CVD—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.1 CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

 

You can control a number of risk factors for CVD, including:

  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes

The 10 Step Plan for Prevention:

Try out these strategies for better heart health. You’ll be surprised how many of them can become lifelong habits!

  1. Work with your health care team
  2. Monitor your blood pressure
  3. Get your cholesterol checked
  4. Eat a healthy diet
  5. Maintain a healthy weight
  6. Exercise regularly
  7. Don’t smoke
  8. Limit alcohol use
  9. Manage your diabetes
  10. Take your medicine

What is Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is an electrical disturbance in the heart that prevents it from beating properly. During SCA, the ventricles flutter in a phenomenon known as ventricular fibrillation, making them unable to deliver blood to the body. The heart responds by quivering, rather than beating in a normal fashion.  Blood flow to the brain is reduced to the point that the person loses consciousness and collapses. Unless emergency treatment is provide quickly, death usually follows.

Anyone is at risk

There are no warning signs associated with SCA.  It often affects those who have experienced previous episodes of SCA, heart attacks, or heart failure; but it can also strike someone with absolutely no history of heart problems.

Treatment includes:

  • CPR, to keep the blood flowing through the body
  • Defibrillation, to restore a normal rhythm to the heart

 

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Every minute counts

Medical attention must be administered as soon as possible after the victim collapses; the chances for survival decrease 10% with every minute you wait. The average SCA victim is middle-aged or elderly, although some victims are in their 30s or 40s. More than 70 percent of SCAs occur in the home, which is why home AEDs have the potential to save the lives of countless loved ones struck by cardiac arrest.

 

This next video is a testimonial from someone who’s life was saved with a Zoll AED.