the leading cause of death

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. CHD is caused by a narrowing of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, and often results in a heart attack.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and nearly half of all heart attack deaths each year happen to women. Furthermore, women are less likely to survive a heart attack than are men.

Here are the warning signs of a heart attack:
-- chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back. The discomfort can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
-- discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
-- shortness of breath. Often comes along with chest discomfort. But it also can occur before chest discomfort.
-- other symptoms. May include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or light-headedness.

Anyone showing heart attack warning signs needs to receive medical treatment right away. Do not wait more than a few minutes-5 minutes at most-to call 911

Fortunately, everyone can take steps to protect their heart. Below are six key steps to help you lower your risk of having a heart attack:
-- stop smoking
-- manage diabetes
-- aim for a healthy weight
-- lower high blood pressure
-- reduce high blood cholesterol
-- be physically active each day