Mercy Regional Health Center

Heart Institute FAQs

How widespread is heart disease?
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, causing over 36% of U.S. deaths each year. Nearly 80 million Americans have some type of cardiovascular disease.

 What are some common heart attack warning signals?
Pain, discomfort, pressure, tightness or aching in the:

  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Arms or elbows
  • Stomach
  • Shoulders
  • Jaw or throat
  • Middle of the back

Other possible symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness
  • Denial

Heart attacks are often mistaken for indigestion or heartburn. If you or someone you love has any of these symptoms, don't 911!

What steps can I take to prevent heart disease?

  • See your doctor
  • Exercise regularly
  • Watch your weight
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Keep cholesterol in check
  • Manage diabetes
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat right

Also, talk to your doctor about your numbers:

  • Blood pressure
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Waist measurement
  • Minutes of exercise
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Servings of vegetables and fruits

And dont' forget: Help your kids establish a healthy lifestyle that will serve them well now and in the future. It's never too early to become heart healthy.

For more heart-related facts, visit the American Heart Association website.