Do you know what the leading cause of death is in the United States?
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is defined as a series of conditions that affect your heart. These conditions include coronary artery disease, arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems), and congenital heart defects (heart defects you’re born with). The blood vessels become blocked causing a heart attack, chest pain or stroke.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. When you don’t get enough blood supply to part of your brain, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients, a stroke occurs and your brain cells begin to die. Know what signs to look for in people who are having a stroke. Signs include trouble speaking or understanding, paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg, vision trouble (one or both eyes), severe headache and trouble walking.
Some symptoms of cardiovascular disease can include angina (chest pain); shortness of breath; neck, jaw, throat, back or upper abdomen pain; numbness or weakness or feeling cold in the legs or arms; and abnormal heartbeats. Dizziness, feeling light-headed and extreme fatigue may also occur.
The good news is, heart disease can be prevented by modifying some of your lifestyle choices. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, poor diet and physical inactivity and overweight and obesity are all risk factors that lead to heart disease. Some things you can do to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease are quit smoking, control your blood sugar, check your cholesterol, maintain a healthy weight, eat healthy foods, exercise and manage stress levels.
Personalabs offers various tests to check the status of your heart such as a lipid profile to measure the fats in your blood and assess your risk for heart disease; a C-reactive protein (CRP) test that will tell you if there is inflammation somewhere in your body and can also evaluate your risk for cardiovascular disease; a fibrinogen test to check the levels of this protein that helps your blood to clot; and a lipoprotein (a) test if you have a family history of heart disease.