Heart disease is a broad term that includes several types of heart conditions. The most common examples are coronary artery disease and heart attacks. However, heart disease is more common in men than in women.

In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men. According to studies in 2017, about one of every four men will die from heart disease.

While all this information may be overwhelming or scary, you don’t have to panic. Heart disease is treatable and preventable.

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Heart disease is sometimes called the silent killer. This is because it isn’t always noticed or diagnosed. To give you an idea of just how undetectable it sometimes is, consider the following fact: Roughly half the men who suddenly die from coronary heart disease didn’t display any symptoms. Typically, men must experience signs or symptoms of a heart attack before the problem becomes noticeable.

Here are some types of heart disease and their related symptoms:

• Heart attack: Chest pains, neck or upper back pains, heartburn, fatigue, indigestion, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and upper-body discomfort
• Arrhythmia: Heart palpitations or flutters
• Heart failure: Swelling of the legs, feet, ankles, abdomen, or neck veins

What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

There are three main risk factors associated with heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. Studies have shown that almost half of Americans have at least one of the three major risk factors. Other risk factors include diabetes, being overweight or obese, poor diet and exercise, and excessive alcohol use.

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How Can You Reduce Your Risk?

The good news is there are ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Many methods involve changing your lifestyle. One way to reduce your risk is by eating healthy and exercising. This also means reducing your alcohol intake to one drink a day and quitting smoking. Another way is to lower your stress levels by finding healthy methods for coping with stress.

Get your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels checked by your doctor or health care provider. High blood pressure doesn’t display symptoms, so getting it checked regularly is important. While you may not suspect you have diabetes, talk with your doctor to see if you should be tested for it.

We realize that times are changing, and it may be difficult to schedule an in-person appointment. That’s why we’re now offering video conference appointments for your convenience.

Do you have more questions about your risk for heart disease or other health issues in Salem OregonContact our friendly staff at WFMC Health or become a new patient today!

This post was first published on wfmchealth.org.