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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

More Than 100,000 African Americans Died Last Year From This

African American having a heart attack

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Although heart disease can affect anyone, more than half of the deaths due to heart disease occur in men. The highest percent of deaths due to heart disease is among African Americans (24.5 percent) and whites (25.1), according to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control.

Only 27 percent of Americans know all the major symptoms

One of the problems with the high rate of deaths due to heart disease is that only 27 percent of people in the U.S. are aware of all the symptoms. Most people, about 92 percent, know that chest pains are a symptom, but it is extremely important to recognize ALL the symptoms, dial 911, and get help immediately in order to increase the victim's chances of survival. The fact that almost half, or 47 percent, of deaths due to cardiac arrest occur outside a hospital is an indication that more education is needed regarding all the major symptoms of heart attack.

Recognize ALL the symptoms

Everyone should be aware that there are more symptoms that point to a heart attack than just chest pains. These include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper part of the body, including arms, back, neck, jaw, and upper stomach
  • Lightheadedness, nausea and cold sweats

Know what can increase the risk for heart disease

In addition, many deaths could be prevented by knowing what health threats can increase the risk for heart disease, heart attack and death. These include:
  • Being overweight or obese, which can then lead to diabetes
  • Poor eating habits - this includes eating too much and eating the wrong kinds of food, which can also lead to obesity and diabetes
  • Not enough exercise
  • Drinking too much alcohol

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