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February is American Heart Month

JACKSON – The Northampton County Health Department encourages men and women to take charge of their health by knowing their heart disease risk and being aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Heart disease continues to cause one in four deaths and roughly 610,000 Americans die each year from the disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women.

To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, the Northampton County Health Department is proudly participating in American Heart Month. Staff members wore red on Friday, Feb. 2 to help raise awareness and kick off American Heart Month.

In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. You can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. Those factors include:

Watch your weight.

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

Get active and eat healthy.

Manage stress.

The N.C. Division of Public Health encourages you to learn the symptoms of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 if you experience any of the warning signs:

Chest discomfort – pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning or pain

Pain or Discomfort*- in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach

Shortness of breath*- with or without chest discomfort

Other symptoms*- cold sweat, nausea/vomiting or lightheadedness

*Common symptoms experienced by women

For more information contact the Northampton County Health Department at (252) 534-5841 between 8:30-5:00 Monday through Friday.