07 Feb February is American Heart Month
Family Practice Associates of Lexington is participating in a five-year program that is sponsored by CMS to improve outcomes and costs; to reduce risk of stroke and heart attack. FPA is in the intervention group and is one of only 11 practices in Kentucky to participate.
Heart disease and stroke are the first and fifth leading causes of death in the United States. Every 43 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack, many of them fatal. On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.
Million Hearts® is a national initiative with an ambitious goal to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes within 5 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services co-lead the initiative on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Million Hearts® Model supports the Million Hearts® Initiative’s aims to prevent heart attacks and strokes by:
- Improving access to effective care.
- Improving quality of care for the ABCS of heart health:
- Aspirin when appropriate.
- Blood pressure control.
- Cholesterol management.
- Smoking cessation.
- Focusing clinical attention on the prevention of heart attack and stroke.
- Activating the public to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.
- Improving the prescription and adherence to appropriate medications for the ABCS.
Ask your provider at your next visit about your risk score, known as the ASCVD calculator
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.
What is heart disease?
When people talk about heart disease, they are usually talking about coronary heart disease (CHD). It’s also called coronary artery disease (CAD). This is the most common type of heart disease.
When someone has CHD, the coronary arteries (tubes) that take blood to the heart are narrow or blocked. This happens when cholesterol and fatty material, called plaque (“plak”), build up inside the arteries.
Plaque is caused by:
- Too much fat and cholesterol in the blood
- High blood pressure
- Too much sugar in the blood (usually because of diabetes)
When plaque blocks an artery, it’s hard for blood to flow to the heart. A blocked artery can cause chest pain or a heart attack.
Signs of Heart Attack
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked. Part of the heart may die if the person doesn’t get help quickly.
Some common signs of a heart attack include:
- Pain or discomfort in the center or left side of the chest – or a feeling of pressure, squeezing, or fullness
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body – like the arms, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or upper stomach (above the belly button)
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing (while resting or being active)
- Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up
- Stomach ache or feeling like you have heartburn
- Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or unusually tired
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
Not everyone who has a heart attack will have all the signs. Learn more about the signs of a heart attack.
Don’t ignore changes in how you feel.
Signs of a heart attack often come on suddenly. But sometimes, they develop slowly – hours, days, or even weeks before a heart attack happens.
Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired for several days, or if you develop any new health problems (like pain or trouble breathing). It’s also important to talk to your doctor if existing health issues (like pain) are bothering you more than usual.
If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, it’s important to know that symptoms of a new heart attack might be different from your last one – so talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about how you feel.