While no one wants to have a heart attack, it can happen to anyone and at any time. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 715,000 people living in the United States suffer a heart attack each year.

In recognition of American Heart Month this month, our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to share some lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of a heart attack.

What Is a Heart Attack?

When blood flow to your heart is blocked, a heart attack occurs. These blockages are most often made up of fat, cholesterol and other substances—and can be prevented through lifestyle habits.

There are a number of risk factors for heart attack, and while some cannot be changed, those associated with your lifestyle can.

Heart Attack Risk Factors

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

What Can I Do to Lower My Risk of Having a Heart Attack?

Although you cannot change your race or how old you are, there are risk factors you can modify, such as quitting smoking, exercising on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight.

It’s impossible, though, to fully prevent all heart attacks, so it’s important to know the signs of a heart attack to seek immediate treatment.

Signs of a Heart Attack

  • Squeezing or aching sensation in your chest
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sudden dizziness

Are you trying to regain control of your health? Make a trip to AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah today to undergo a wellness check and bloodwork to see where your health currently stands.