February is Heart Month: The facts on heart health

Over 950,000 Americans die each year from cardiovascular disease. Since February is National Heart Month, Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon provides the following facts and tips on heart health:
- 250,000 people die within one hour of onset of a heart attack.
- 60-70% of those individuals are male.
- Heart disease is the number-one killer of American women and men.
- 75-80% of cardiac arrests happen in the home.
- Bystander CPR does improve the outcome once someone has arrested.
- Traditional CPR courses are not reaching those who live with high-risk populations.
- Rapid defibrillation is the most important treatment for victims.
- For every minute delay in defibrillation there is a 10% loss for chance of survival.
- In the case of heart attack, “Time is Muscle.”
- In the case of stroke, “Time is Brain Tissue.”
- Older women who have heart attacks are twice as likely as men to die in a few weeks. Each year about 20,000 women under age 65 die of heart attack; over three percent are under age 55. About half of all women over age 55 have high blood pressure.
- One in five Americans has high blood pressure.
- In 2001, more than 130 million adult Americans were overweight or obese (65.4% of the adult population.)
- Cardiovascular disease is the number-one killer in the United States. The disease continues to devastate women as it accounts for one in five women’s deaths.
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Heart Attack Warning Signs:
- Pressure, fullness, discomfort or squeezing in the center of the chest.
- Pain may last for a few minutes or may go away and come back; it may extend to the shoulders, neck and/or arms.
- The victim may sweat, feel faint, sick to their stomach or short of breath.

Stroke Warning Signs:
- Sudden weakness in an arm, hand or leg.
- Loss of feeling in one side of the face or body.
- Diminished eyesight in one eye.
- Difficulty talking.
- Feeling dizzy or experiencing a loss of balance and the worst headache one has ever had.

For more information on heart health, call Veterans Memorial Hospital at 563-568-3411.