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Caring for Your Heart

Because heart disease is America's #1 killer, The Chester County Hospital offers the following Prescription for a Healthy Heart:

Prescription for a Healthy Heart

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat a balanced diet with reasonable portion sizes.
  • Keep body mass index (BMI) as close to 25 as possible. (Weight in pounds x 704.5 / height in inches)
  • Don't smoke.
  • Check blood pressure regularly per your doctor and maintain an optimal level. (normal 120-140/80)
  • If you have diabetes (high blood sugar) use diet, exercise, weight control, and perhaps medication, to keep blood sugar within desired range (100-150).
  • Have cholesterol (including different types) checked and control different levels with diet, exercise and medication as directed by your doctor.
  • See you doctor regularly to discuss management of all risk factors (as well as the care and treatment of any other condition you may have).

Heart Attack Symptoms A heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) does not feel the same for every person. In fact, women may experience different symptoms than men.

Signs of a Heart Attack in Men
Possible Signs
Chest pain
Feeling of pressure or heaviness on the chest
Chest tightness
Pain extending to the neck, jaw, shoulders or down the arm
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, tightness or burning sensation under the breastbone
May Be Accompanied by
Lightheadedness
Fainting
Sweating
Nausea
Shortness of Breath

Signs of a Heart Attack in Women
Women may experience these less common heart attack symptoms:
Abnormal chest pain
Stomach or abdominal pain
Nausea or dizziness
Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing
Unexplained anxiety
Weakness
Fatigue
Palpitations
Diffuse anxiety

If you have no known history of heart disease and experience any of the above symptoms, you should:

  1. Stop activity and sit or lie down.
  2. Call 9-1-1 if pain continues for more than five minutes.

If you have heart disease and develop any of the above symptoms, you should:

  1. Stop activity and sit or lie down.
  2. Take nitroglycerin under your tongue - one tablet every five minutes for a maximum of three tablets until the symptoms are gone.
  3. Call 9-1-1 if the symptoms continue.

The Chester County Hospital offers the information on this website for general educational purposes only. This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis, nor should it be considered a replacement for consultation with a healthcare provider. If you have questions or concerns about your health, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Last Updated: 7/20/2009