Heart disease is a major issue worldwide. Chronic and often preventable diseases are fast overtaking infectious disease as a cause of death in many countries. Health promotion activities can make a difference to improve quality of life and wellbeing.

People should avoid tobacco use, eat healthier foods, control diabetes, and be more physically active. Community health settings need to have systems in place that will improve the quality of care that high-risk patients receive. Employers can offer health screenings and follow-up services to help employees control their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can offer adequate insurance coverage for health services that aim to prevent heart disease and stroke.

Educating the public about signs of a heart attack and stroke and the importance of calling 911 quickly is an important step to improving the chances for survival and minimising the damage that can occur following a heart attack or stroke.

Don’t wait to get help if you experience any of these heart attack warning signs. Some heart attacks are sudden and intense.

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the centre of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Aerobic exercise, weight loss, and treating high blood pressure can reduce stiffness in the arteries.

Speak to your doctor for more details.