February is American Heart Month

Source: Salvatore Vuono

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and more than 70 million Americans have some form of Heart Disease? The CDC reports that “One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day,” which makes sharing heart healthy knowledge extremely important. Almost all of of us has know someone affected by heart disease or who have suffered from a stroke. This most I want to share some healthy living tips and resources to help us make show our hearts are in good condition.

What you should know about cardiovascular disease?

1) Cardiovascular disease doesn’t only affect the heart. There are over 60 different types that can effect any part of the body.

2) Coronary Artery Disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States and is just 1 type of Cardiovascular Disease. Some symptoms associated with this disease are:

  • Chest pain or chest discomfort (angina)
  • Pain in one or both arms, the left shoulder, neck, jaw, or back
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Faster heartbeats
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach)
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Feeling very tired.


3) Warning signs of a stroke

  • A sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Weakness or inability to move one side of the body. This is due to our brain controlling opposite sides of our body. If a stroke occurs in the right side of the brain it will affect the left side of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty understanding what others are saying (confusion)
  • Sudden blurred or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness or loss of balance and co-ordination
  • Sudden severe headache, which has been described as being like a blow to the head (associated with a hemorrhagic stroke)
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Nausea and vomiting (consider this particular symptom in combination with the others)


Here is an animated video that shares information about a stroke. The video is playful but the information is very thorough and memorable. Remember “Smile, Reach, Speech.”


ShopRite is hosting FREE blood pressure screenings all month long! A schedule for your local store is posted on ShopRite.com. (http://www.shoprite.com/cnt/HeartMonth.html)

Free Blood Pressure Screening at ShopRite

Additional Resources:

  • CDC quote source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
  • Stroke Video source: Developed by MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland, Michigan.
  • Stroke warning signs source: http://www.speech-therapy-on-video.com/strokewarningsigns.html


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