Myths and Facts About Your Heart
Sharon Lutz RN BSN CHPN
During a heart attack your heart stops beating? True or False ?
False– During a heart attack, blood supply to heart tissue is blocked, leading to tissue death. When your heart suddenly stops functioning as a result of abnormal heart rhythms, it’s called “ cardiac arrest”. A heart attack can cause cardiac arrest, but they are not the same.
Heart Disease Kills more men than women? True or False ?
False– Men tend to develop heart disease earlier in life than women, but after menopause, women catch up. According to CDC statistics, in 2006 (the most recent year recorded), about the same number of American women died from heart disease (315,930) as men (315,706).
Heart disease is the leading cause of death to women in the U.S. second only to breast cancer? True or False ?
False– Heart disease is the No, 1 killer of women in the United states, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. One in four women dies of heart disease, while one in 30 dies of breast cancer.
If you think you are having a heart attack, you should:
Call 911 – If you think you are having a hear attack, you should call 911 immediately, rather than wait to see if you feel better. Emergency medical services personnel are equipped to treat or resuscitate you if your heart stops en route, and studies have shown that heart attack patients generally receive faster treatment when they are transported by ambulance and the hospital is anticipating their arrival.
Which of the following could be a sign of a heart attack?
All of the above – Although the most common sign of a heart attack is chest pain or discomfort, its not always one of the symptoms. Other symptoms might include shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, feeling lightheaded, and/or pain or discomfort in other parts of the upper body, such as back, stomach, neck or jaw.
“Broken heart syndrome” is a real medical condition, and its symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. True or False?
True – “Broken Heart Syndrome” is a term used to describe a type of heart problem that is often brought on by grief or emotional stress. Traumatic events can trigger the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” mechanism, and the sudden flood of chemicals, including adrenaline, can stun the heart muscle, leaving it temporarily unable to pump properly. Although symptoms may be similar, it is not the same as a heart attack. The good news is that the heart muscle usually recovers from this fairly quickly.
After a heart attack, patients are advised to avoid sex for at least 3 months. True or False?
False – According to the American Heart Association, “ there is no reason heart patients or stroke survivors can’t resume usual sexual activity as soon as they feel ready for it”. As always talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
The most common risk factor for heart disease in the U.S. is:
Inactivity – According to the CDC and Prevention, 39.5% of Americans are at risk for heart disease because of inactivity. The percentages of US adults with key factors are: obesity, 33.9% high blood pressure, 30.5% cigarette smoking, 20.8%, high cholesterol, 15.6% and diabetes, 10.1%
Approximately what percentage of the U.S. population suffers from some form of heart disease?
37% – In 2006 81.1 million Americans or 36.9% of the population, suffered from some form of heart disease.
Heart Disease has accounted for more U.S. deaths than any other cause in every year since 1900 except:
1918 – According to the National center for health statistics, heart disease has accounted for more details than any other cause in every year since 1900 except 1918- the year of the deadly Spanish flu.
To reduce the risk of heart disease, non-drinkers should begin drinking red wine. True or False?
False – The American Heart Association recommends limiting alcohol intake to no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink for women if you already drink alcohol. Non-drinkers are not encouraged to begin drinking because of the negative health risks of alcohol, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity and stroke.
What’s the recommended aspirin dosage to help prevent heart attack?
One low dose aspirin (81mg) per day – One daily low dose aspirin has been shown to lower the risk of heart attack in people wha are at a high risk of heart attack- especially in those who have already had a heart attack. To prevent a second heart attack, your healthcare provider may recommend a higher dose of aspirin. You should always consult your doctor before starting aspirin therapy. As with other medications, aspirin also carries risks.
A Mediterranean style diet has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease ? True or False?
True – In 2009 a study of American women found that women whose diets most closely matched a Mediterranean diet had a 29% reduction in heart disease risk compared with women whose diets lest resembled it. Other studies also show a beneficial effect on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and cholesterol. A Mediterranean diet feature olive oil as an important fat source, wine in low to moderate amounts, and large amounts of fruits and vegetables, bread, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds. It calls for little red meat and low to moderate amounts of dairy products, fish, and poultry.
If you are thin, eat right, and exercise, you won’t get heart disease? True or False?
False – A survey of U.S. adults who had been told by a doctor that they had heart disease found that 56.6% engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least three times a week and 38.6% maintained a health body weight. While proper diet and exercise can lower your risk for heart disease, you may still be at risk.
You can lower your risk of hear disease by:
Reducing your sodium intake – High sodium diets have been tied to increased blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. The AHA recommends less that 1500 mg per day. Vitamin E and folate have both been shown to be important for heart health, but studies have cast doubt on the usefulness of Vitamin E supplements, and the National Institute of health says its “premature” to recommend folic acid supplements for heart disease. It’s best to get both nutrients from dietary sources.