Currently viewing the tag: "American Heart Association"


56a70bad78832.image (Copy) When it comes to cardiovascular events—heart attacks and blood clots in the heart or lungs—time is of the utmost importance. The sooner the person having the cardiac event get medical attention, the greater their probability of survival, and the greater their chance of preventing irreversible damage to the muscle tissue of the heart, which can eventually lead to heart failure. Most people know the symptoms of a heart attack—chest pain, shortness of breath, and pain in the left arm or between the shoulder blades. While these symptoms can be experienced by both men and women, women, in fact, can have unusual symptoms, and these differences may keep women suffering a heart attack from seeking immediate attention. Awareness of these signs of heart attack in women could prevent disaster, particularly so for black and Hispanic women, according to the American Heart Association.

While heart attack rates between men and women favor men slightly, women die at a higher rate of 1 out of every 3 to men’s 1 of 4—heart disease is the leading killer of both sexes annually. While chest pain, left arm pain and shoulder pain are typical and well known, as are shortness of breath, anxiety and dizziness, women can also feel nausea and vomiting, which does lead some to pass symptoms off as the flu or food poisoning. Women may also feel pain between their shoulder blades or neck pain, which is especially deceiving if the woman already has pain in those areas. Women tend to be about a decade older than men when they suffer heart attacks. And if women have diabetes, their risk is four to five times higher than it is for men.

heart-healthBlack women have a higher incidence of heart attacks in all age categories and young black women have greater probability of dying before they leave the hospital. Black and Hispanic women are also more likely to have heart-related risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure at the time of their heart attack.

Once a heart attack starts, time is of the essence: Getting help quickly minimizes damage and increases the chance of survival. Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer, says: “Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

And on women ignoring symptoms,“Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1,” Goldberg said. “But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.”

Heart disease can be reduced by following some health basics:

  • photogallery_heart_disease_prevention_10_fullExercise – you have got to move; you have got to sweat. Fail to do either and increase your risk significantly.
  • Eat well – whole, natural foods, moderate portions, lots of water, fresh juices, vitamins supplements.
  • Rest – sleep and downtime are very important. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.
  • Mental – balance those mental charges; Deep breathing and meditation go a very long way here
  • Minimize toxins – smoking, liquor, drugs, sugar, etc.
  • Medical – after 40, get checked consistently (to me rhythm is more important than frequency, but this will depend on your awareness and regular attention to body-health)

Women need to be mindful of heart attack symptoms. In sheer numbers, women are not much different from men, so knowing the warning signs of a heart attack, especially the unusual ones, may be the difference between life and death. The sooner any person having a heart attack gets into treatment, the less likely they will suffer irreversible tissue damage, which is almost a guaranteed future cardiac event. Be smart, ladies, save this link and go back to read the symptoms of heart attack every January 1st—it just might be the wisest health practice to do all year.


IMAG2397_1_1 (Copy)I saved my daughter’s life today. This post is not about me wanting praise or to be seen as a hero, but as a plea for you to learn CPR. I needed to know it today, and my CPR training saved my daughter’s life. One day you may need it too.

My youngest daughter, who is six years old, found it hysterical that my older daughter saw a film in her class which she described as, “blood driving pee around in a car.” The only problem with it was that the younger had a mouth full of food, and within seconds her uncontrollable laughter turned into silence and a look of despair, which quickly became the look of terror.

child choking CPRLuckily I was sitting right next to her. I asked if she could breathe; she shook her head no. And the training went into action. You hear it said by law enforcement and other civil servants trained to protect and rescue. I did not even think twice. She tried to stick her fingers in her mouth; I calmly said, “Stop.” She did. I then picked her up, as she is small and gave her two quick thrusts with my fist in her abdomen. Putting her down, I asked if she could breathe; she nodded no. I picked her up again, two quick thrusts—I was about to rap her on her upper back—but quickly put her down.

“Can you breathe?” I again said calmly.

She shook her head, yes. I asked again. This time she spoke, “I swallowed it.”

Phewwwww…long breath of relief. You know the one: we just survived something major. Sh*#!

Child CPRThat was not the first time I needed to use CPR. I saved my mother’s life back in 2007 when she choked on her food as well. I cannot stress it enough: you will never learn another skill more valuable than CPR. Take it from a guy who could have lost both his parent and child if not for the First Aid/CPR training he received as a rescuer. You don’t realize how fast it happens, and until you see the look of terror in a person’s eyes who is choking, you will never know how scary it can be.

You can take a class in a few hours one day. You will come out knowing how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Local fire departments offer classes, so does the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association and the YMCA. They even have special classes for babysitters, nannies and au pairs.

Everybody knows that they should take a CPR class, but it is so easy to put off, and I promise you will be glad you took the course when the time comes. The alternative is unthinkable for the most of us. Take a CPR/First AID class today—don’t even wait for the New Year. You’ll be so happy when you look at your child and think, “I have more time with you, angel,” like I did today thanks to my knowledge of CPR.

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