February is National Heart Month. Heart disease kills hundreds of thousands of people each year in the United States.
It's important to know the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke.
"If you're having any chest pain symptoms and discomfort that's unusual, come to the ER," said Dr. Baran Aksut, a cardiologist with the Aurora Denver Cardiology Associates. "The classic symptoms are discomfort in chest, tightness, pressure. But we say anything above the waist can be, potentially, a heart attack."
When it comes to strokes, the CDC says the symptoms to watch for are:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
To check your risk for heart attack or stroke, learn your heart age. Your heart age is calculated based on your risk factors for heart disease, such as age, blood pressure and cholesterol.
The heart age tool was created by the Farmington Heart Study. That calculator can be found here. However, the calculator on the New York Health Department's website may be easier to understand.