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9 months ago · · 0 comments

February Brings Attention to Another Type of Heart

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When you think of February, images of red, white, and pink hearts, roses, boxes of chocolates, or a romantic dinner may pop into your mind. This month is more than finding or rekindling love. It is also about preventing, identifying, and healing broken (or unhealthy) hearts. According to the CDC, 85.6 million American adults have some form of heart disease. Almost 44 million of those adults are over the age of 60. Around two-thirds of Americans who die of cardiovascular disease are 75 and older.

What is Cardiovascular Disease

The American Heart Association defines cardiovascular disease (or heart disease) as any condition where heart valves or blood vessels become blocked or narrowed. This blockage causes blood flow to be restricted or stopped altogether.

Common heart disease conditions that affect seniors include:

  • Heart attack

  • Stroke

  • Heart failure

  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat)

  • Heart valve problems

  • Coronary artery disease

Why is Heart Health Important

Your heart is important as it disperses oxygen throughout the body. All the cells of your body need oxygen to function properly. This includes the cells that make up all the body’s organs. When the heart can’t process and distribute oxygen through the body, your body won’t function well. If The heart stops or the arteries of the heart are blocked, blood can no longer flow through the body, eventually leading to death.

Eating a nutritious, balanced diet, exercise, and adequate sleep can keep the heart healthy. Avoiding too much stress and the cessation of smoking will also help keep your heart strong. Sometimes, medical procedures such as stents are necessary to keep the cardiovascular system working well. Early detection by a medical professional can help keep the condition from worsening.

Heart Disease Symptoms

According to the Mayo Clinic, if your loved one experiences one or a few of the following symptoms, he or she should see their doctor as they may have some form of cardiovascular disease. Call 9-1-1 and get immediate medical attention if your loved one feels faint, loses consciousness, experiences shortness of breath, or has chest pain.

Symptoms can include:

  • Chest tightness, pressure, discomfort, or pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Coldness, numbness, weakness, or pain in the arms or legs

  • Pain in the jaw, throat, neck, abdomen, or back

  • Fluttering in the chest

  • Racing heartbeat or slow heartbeat

  • Lightheadedness

  • Dizziness

  • Pale gray or blue skin color

  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, feet, legs, or abdomen

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Changes in your heart rhythm

  • Dry or persistent cough

  • Skin rashes or unusual spots

Heart Disease Facts

Not all cardiovascular disease symptoms have outwardly noticeable symptoms. Some of the most severe heart conditions have no warning signs. Although cardiovascular disease kills millions of Americans each year, there is little awareness of it. Here are some sobering statistics about cardiovascular disease:

  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women 65 years and older

  • On average, men have experienced their first heart attack at age 65 and women at age 72

  • Women 85 and older make up 66% of stroke patients

  • Among those age 65 and older, the risk for heart failure is 10 per 1,000

  • One in three older Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease

Seniors are at great risk of heart disease. Heart disease awareness is important as it can save lives. The symptoms of heart disease are often undetected. The most serious symptoms such as heart attack and stroke come on suddenly, often after it is too late. Learning the symptoms and your family’s risk factors can your loved one potentially overcome their cardiovascular disease.

At Tribute Senior Living, we help our residents fight back against the aging and disease process with on-site nurses 24 hours a day, delicious, heart-healthy meals, and age-appropriate fitness options with a full-time fitness director. Contact us today to learn more about our community and services.

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