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ACEP outlines symptoms of heart attack to kick off American Heart Month

Posted On Wed, February 3, 2010

In an attempt to aid Americans across the country during American Heart Month, the American College of Emergency Physicians have offered up tips on recognizing symptoms of a heart attack in order to give people a chance to get medical attention before a situation becomes life threatening.

"Emergency physicians save lives every day and provide quality, lifesaving care to thousands of patients each year with heart attack symptoms," said Dr. Angela Gardner, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. "But saving a life in this case must start with that patient picking up on the warning signs immediately and quickly summoning help."

Among the symptoms listed were shortness of breath or excessive sweating, tightness in the chest with pain spreading to the shoulders and arms, and sudden dizziness or the brief loss of consciousness.

For women the symptoms could also include anxiety. Indigestion, and discomfort between the shoulder blades.

ACEP added that ways to decrease one's risk of falling victim to heart disease included daily exercise, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol use, and maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.

In addition to being aware of the signs of a heart attack so one can be proactive if they need medical attention, consumers should also be well covered by a health insurance provider that will cover any medical costs with a heart attack. According to the ACEP, heart disease kills more than 630,000 Americans every year and is the number one cause of death in the U.S.

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