Cardiovascular disease affects the heart or blood vessels and it is the leading cause of death in the world. It is never too late to treat or prevent heart disease. Simple lifestyle changes can reduce risk factors and improve your heart health. There are plenty of myths and misinformation about heart health and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Peter Chiu helps to separate some myths from the truth to keep you in the know:
Only men are impacted by heart disease
Unfortunately, heart disease affects both men and women. In fact, women die from heart attacks more often than men. Both men and women should be aware of their risk factors and implement lifestyle changes when necessary to reduce their risk of getting a heart disease.
Heart disease does not affect fit and active people
No matter how fit and slim you are you may still be at risk for a heart condition. There are plenty of other factors that can put you at risk, like high cholesterol, poor lifestyle and diet habits, elevated blood pressure, and smoking. It is important to make heart-healthy choices from an early age, as the way you live in your younger years has a serious impact on your heart health now and in the future.
A heart attack always involves extreme chest pain
Chest pain is a common symptom but it can be subtle or not present at all. Heart attacks can manifest as an ache in your jaw, neck, arm or hand. Women tend to have no previous symptoms or are more likely to experience back or jaw pain, fatigue and dizziness, shortness of breath or nausea and vomiting.
If it runs in your family, there is nothing you can do to prevent it
Although people with a family history of heart disease are at higher risk, these diseases are still preventable. Adopting a healthier lifestyle, like eating consciously, keeping your cholesterol in check, maintaining regular exercise and reducing weight will contribute to your heart health.
If I had high blood pressure or cholesterol, or other risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, I would know it
This is not true. In most cases, people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are asymptomatic. Many heart conditions and their risk factors can go undetected without regular check-ups. Preventative screenings can help you stay on top of your heart health.