young African American businesswoman having heart attack

This post, originally written on Feb. 24, 2016, is being bumped up because one of my loyal readers suffered a heart attack a few days after the New Year. She requested a Medical Minute post to warn her fellow Rose Garden members about the warning signs of a heart attack.

Please heed the warning signs. Black people are at greater risk for heart attacks due to the prevalence of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes in the black community.

It can happen to you.

Originally published on: Feb 24, 2016:

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in America. About 1.5 million people die from heart disease annually in the U.S.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women (more deaths than all cancers combined).

Even if you think you’re fairly healthy, you can drop dead of a heart attack at any time if you don’t know how to prevent heart attacks.

So what can you do to prevent a heart attack? Read on…

Juan A. Escarfuller, MD shares these tips and early warning signs of heart disease.

1. Stop smoking — smoking cigarettes or weed damages every organ in your body, including the lining of your arteries. Smoking causes fatty deposits (plaque) and narrowing of the arteries, leading to chest pain (angina) and irregular heart beat.

2. Change your lifestyle by eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.

3. Know the early warning signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain, jaw pain, shoulder or arm pain
  • Back pain between the shoulders
  • Feeling of pressure in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath (with or without exertion)
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea
  • 5. Exercise at least 20 minutes a day — Start off with a 5 minute workout and gradually move up to 20 minutes a day

    Dr. Jackie Walters, OB/GYN posted this easy 5 minute workout on her Instagram page, that you can do in the morning before heading to work or after work.

    5 minute workout

    6. Visit your doctor regularly to check your blood pressure or to monitor you for diabetes and high cholesterol.

    7. Take your medicine! — Take your high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol medication as prescribed.

    8. Stay in close contact with your family and friends, especially if you are elderly. You may need someone to check on you regularly. Or you may need to check on someone you haven’t heard from in a while who lives alone.

    Sudden death is unpleasant and permanent. So take care of your heart!

    This has been your Medical Minute.

    More Info On the Web

    What is a Heart Attack? — NIH
    Warning Signs of Heart Attack –
    Heart Attack — Mayo Clinic
    Heart Attack, Learn Symptoms and Treatment – MedicineNet


    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

    Stock photo by Michael Jung/Getty Images