OUR LIVES ARE VERY BUSY, SOMETIMES BUSIER THAN we’d like. We try to jam 36 hours into a 24-hour day. We face stressors in our daily lives that often wreak havoc on our bodies, especially our hearts. It all leads up to a critical fact that heart disease is still the leading cause of death in United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease causes one in every four deaths. And, in most cases, heart disease is preventable.
“Taking preventative action is the first step to reducing your chance of a heart attack,” explains Vikram Mandadi, MD, Cardiologist and Southern Regional Medical Center Chief Medical Officer. “Though a healthy diet, working 30 minutes of vigorous exercise into your day, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 percent.”
Reducing your heart disease risks is up to you as an individual. Some of us are better are managing these risks than others, because sometimes we just don’t make time in our busy lives for taking care of ourselves. Regardless, it’s important to know the signs of a heart attack. The usual signs, especially in men are:
• Chest pain, pressure, heaviness, squeezing or tightness that can spread or
travel to your jaw, shoulder, arm or back
• Trouble catching your breath
• Upset stomach
In women the signs can include those signs, as well as:
• Abdominal pain
• Jaw pain
• Shoulder pain that is usually not aggravated by movement
• Lightheadedness or breaking out in a cold sweat
Managing stress, not smoking, eating right, and exercising will all help keep a heart healthy, but if you are faced with a cardiac issue every second counts and the right care is critical. Southern Regional Medical Center is accredited by the American College of Cardiology as a Level 5 Chest Pain Center with PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, also known as angioplasty), as well as being a certified Primary Stroke Center by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. In 2018, Southern Regional was one of only 96 hospitals nationwide to receive American College of Cardiology’s NCDR ACTION Registry Silver Performance Achievement Award for their commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients. The award signified that the hospital reached an aggressive goal of treating heart attack patients at the highest standard levels of care outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.
“Southern Regional has been a pioneer in providing quality cardiac care on the southside, especially in heart catherization and angioplasty; and we continue to meet and exceed these standards of care for the best possible outcomes for our patients,” Dr. Mandadi adds. “That’s proven by the continued recognitions and achievements in the hospital’s heart and vascular care.”
There are many things that you can do to help lower your risk of having a heart attack, but if you have any of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 and get to the closest hospital immediately.