Murphy Group Practice of Murphy Medical Center Celebrates “Healthy Heart Month”
Murphy Group Practice of Murphy Medical Center is celebrating “Healthy Heart Month” in February. This effort, in conjunction with the American Heart Association, is to raise awareness of heart health in our communities. Janet Shively, Clinical Coordinator of Murphy Group Practice stated, “Our mission this month is to save lives by educating our patients about how they can prevent heart disease.”
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women. Although typical heart attack symptoms include crushing chest pain or a feeling of heavy pressure, fullness or squeezing in the chest, these are not the only symptoms that may indicate a cardiac event, particularly in women.
More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined, and their symptoms may not follow those considered typical. There may be no chest pain or discomfort. Symptoms such as neck, jaw, arm or upper back pain could be indicative of a heart attack. Shortness of breath, cold sweats, clammy skin, unusual tiredness or lack of energy, dizziness, lightheadedness, unexplained nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or a feeling of heartburn often go unrecognized as heart attack symptoms.
There are a range of factors that determine risk of heart disease and stroke. The more risk factors, the greater the chance of developing heart disease or stroke.
• High LDL, or “bad” cholesterol and low HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
• Uncontrolled high blood pressure.
• Physical inactivity
• Obesity (being more than 20% over one’s ideal body weight).
• Uncontrolled diabetes.
• High C-reactive protein.
• Uncontrolled stress and anger.
Many risk factors can be reduced by making simple lifestyle changes. Eating healthy, being physically active, cessation of smoking, stress reduction, and diabetes prevention can all make a positive impact. Monitoring intake of alcohol and elimination of illegal drug use can also decrease risk.
Dr. Lindsay Patterson, Family Practice physician with Murphy Group Practice said, “Some risk factors such as family history, age and race are not controllable. That is why it is so important to understand all of your personal and family risk factors and discuss them with your healthcare professional. Heart disease can be controlled or treated with help from your doctor.”
To learn more about heart disease prevention, go to http://www.heart.org/.