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Healthcare activists comment on National Heart Awareness Month



Little Rock, Arkansas – Since February is American Heart Month, many people throughout the country are banding together to raise awareness about how to keep safe.

The biggest cause of mortality in the United States, according to the CDC, is heart disease, which accounts for over 8,000 fatalities in Arkansas each year.

According to studies, Arkansas is one of the five states with the highest rates of heart disease. This may result in complications that include heart attack, heart failure, and other problems.

Heart disease can be brought on by a bad diet, diabetes, smoking, inactivity, and other factors.

The American Heart Association states that individuals who are having heart failure may have symptoms like a racing heart, shortness of breath, coughing, and swelling.

Anna Williams, a healthcare activist from Arkansas, gave tips for managing heart disease.

“Right now you can make sure that you go to your doctor on a regular basis to get your blood levels, your blood glucose levels checked. People with diabetes are more prone to heart attacks. Also, you can make sure that your blood pressure numbers are good, and not too high. Make sure your cholesterol levels are regulated,” Williams said.

It’s also crucial to keep in mind that men and women can exhibit various Heart Attack symptoms. Sometimes women have stomach discomfort instead of more noticeable symptoms like jaw, arm, or chest problems.

If you are nearby during a medical emergency, Dr. Paul Mounsey, Director of the UAMS Cardiology Clinic, described how you might assist.

“Going and getting CPR training going and getting cardiac arrest training, becoming familiar with how to use an automatic defibrillator… I think is becoming part of being a responsible citizen or responsible neighbor. Because again, cardiac arrest where the heart literally stops beating and sometimes has to be shocked into life is something is a preventable cause of death in our communities”, Mounsey said.

National Wear Red Day last week marked the beginning of this awareness month, but you can continue to support this cause by donning red on any other day of the month.

Dr. Mounsey also mentioned that dropping just 10 pounds might considerably lengthen your life expectancy and lower your risk of developing heart-related ailments.

Williams and Mounsey both recommended increasing exercise to enhance general health.

“All adults should be striving to be physically active they should not be inactive. I know covid has made everybody inactive. But we need to step it up again, by doing at least 30 minutes, five days a week some kind of physical activity that’s going to raise our heart rate, Williams said.