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Here are some heart stopping statistics about heart health and the Hispanic community.
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. In minority populations, the risk is even greater.
According to the American Heart Association, the leading cause of death among both Hispanic men (27 percent) and women (31.5 percent) is cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of Latinos.
Stroke and heart disease account for one-third of all deaths among Latinos. High blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and physical inactivity all play a role in the increasing number of Hispanics with heart disease.
"Heart disease is an illness that affects almost every Latino family, men and women alike," Dr. James Zalez, cardiothoracic surgeon from Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, said.
Zalez recommends a yearly checkup with blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings to avert a heart attack. Heart attacks can happen without warning. Symptoms include chest discomfort, discomfort in the upper areas of the body and/or shortness of breath.
Many heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. It's an uncomfortable pressure, where the patient might feel squeezing, eventually leading into pain. Also, patients may experience pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
According to Los Angeles physician, Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, ʺA healthy heart is a happy heart, and there are easy steps you can take to lower your chances of developing heart disease and its risk factors.ʺ
Individuals can decrease their risk of heart disease by making healthier lifestyle choices. This means exercising and getting your cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked regularly. A recent study indicates that reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure and lower your blood cholesterol.
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