WESTON, W.Va. — Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital employees are participating in American Heart Month activities to raise awareness of cardiac conditions and associated symptoms.
Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events are preventable, while cardiovascular disease continues to be the chief health risk of women. Therefore, it is imperative to become familiar with the warning signs and symptoms.
Kristi Gannon, SJMH Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Manager, outlined common symptoms of cardiac events. “Women and men may often experience differing cardiac symptoms. A woman will exhibit more fatigue, shoulder aches and indigestion, while a man will likely experience chest pain.”
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Warning signs could include:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
- Shortness of breath. This may occur with or without chest discomfort.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Gannon provided suggestions on maintaining a healthy heart. “Exercise is so important. Walking at least 30 minutes a day cuts your risk of heart disease in half.”
“Stonewall Jackson Memorial offers several programs to assist with cardiac conditions including cardiac rehabilitation and adult fitness,” Gannon concluded.