As you probably know, heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and around the world. Heart attacks affect hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Since February is American Heart Month, this is the perfect time to learn about cardiovascular health and understand how to spot a heart attack.

Most people think that a heart attack is marked by sudden and severe chest pain, but this is true only some of the time. There are a number of other symptoms to watch for, and many of them can come on gradually.

Be aware of these signs, for both yourself and those you love:

· Chest pain that feels like fullness, squeezing, or uncomfortable pressure

· Chest discomfort that goes away and comes 006682-Heart iStock_000003875987XSmallback

· Pain that spreads to the arms, shoulders, neck, back, or jaw

· Shortness of breath

· Increased or irregular heartbeat

· A feeling of indigestion

· Nausea

· Lightheadedness

· Extreme fatigue

· Pronounced sweatiness or a cold sweat

If you experience any of these symptoms, or a combination of them, don’t hesitate to call 9-1-1 and get help right away. Remember that even if chest pain dissipates, you may still have blockages in your arteries, so ignoring the issue is not the answer. It’s important to get checked out as soon as possible. To assess your condition, a physician can take a medical history, do a complete exam, order an electrocardiogram (EKG) to detect any heart damage, and run a blood test to check for abnormal levels of certain enzymes.

The Heart Center at North Hills Hospital offers state-of-the-art technology to help treat you during a heart attack and help you recover. You are in good hands with our top-notch medical team. In fact, we are the first hospital in Texas to achieve Cycle I, II, and II accreditation for chest pain care. Cycle III is the highest level of accreditation possible from the Society of Chest Pain Centers.

To learn more about cardiovascular health, consult our Heart Care Center or call our Cardiovascular Services department at 817-255-1894. Serving North Richland Hills and Northeast Tarrant County, we’re here to help keep your heart healthy.

Sources:
North Hills Hospital
American Heart Association

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