According to the American Heart Association, “Every year, tens of thousands of Americans survive a heart attack, go back to work and enjoy a normal life.”

There are many factors that affect your risk of heart disease or stroke. The AHA offers tools and resources that can help you determine what your risks may be…AND most can be controlled and even avoided! Some of the more common controllable factors include smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Visit the Heart Attack Risk Assessment for a personal report. This tool will help you determine if you are at risk in the next 10 years of having a heart attack or if you have metabolic syndrome, which is a group of risk factors that can increase your chances of developing a cardiovascular disease.

Once you have completed your risk assessment, you will be able to print a report and summary of your personal factors. This report will provide tips and action plans on those areas for which you may need to focus in order to reduce your chances of heart disease!

Keep in mind that although some heart attacks begin suddenly, others begin with only mild pain and discomfort. Although the most common symptom of a heart attack for both men and women is chest discomfort, women may experience different symptoms as well. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, jaw or arm pain, and nausea or vomiting as symptoms associated with a heart attack.

The American Heart Association recommends that heart disease prevention begin early. Stop smoking, start exercising and schedule a visit with your general practitioner. Someone has a heart attack approximately once every 43 seconds. The sooner you begin risk reduction, the longer and stronger your heart will beat!