Do you know the warning signs of a heart attack?
signs in February, American Heart Month
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[February 08, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — February is
American Heart Month, and the Illinois Department of Public Health
is encouraging everyone to learn the signs of a heart attack and how
to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease
includes heart disease, heart failure, stroke, hypertension,
congenital cardiovascular defects and other diseases.
"Although the rate of cardiovascular disease is declining, it is
still the leading cause of death and accounts for 1 in every 3
deaths in Illinois," said IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck. "This
February, I challenge Illinoisans to learn the signs of a heart
attack and how to reduce the chances of having one."
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most heart attacks
start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Signs of a heart attack
Chest pain or
Upper body pain or
discomfort (arms, back, neck, jaw).
If someone shows signs of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
There are several risk factors that
increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, such
as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity. To
reduce your risk:
IDPH is currently partnering with health
professionals in Macon and Peoria counties for a new learning
collaborative, Million Hearts, with the goal of identifying,
controlling and improving blood pressure readings to help prevent 1
million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. This collaborative
includes sharing and using health data to help physicians see how to
reduce hypertension, as well as increasing the integration of
clinical and community services in communities to manage
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Similarly, the Healthy Hearts project, funded by a Community
Transformation Grant, also aims to use a population approach to
cardiac prevention and care by integrating public health and primary
care services, reducing individual and community factors that
contribute to cardiovascular disease, and improving the use of
To learn more about the Million Hearts initiative,
www.millionhearts.hhs.gov, and for more information about the
Healthy Hearts project, visit
IDPH also celebrated Go Red Day on Friday, encouraging all IDPH
staff to wear red and decorate their offices for the occasion.
Workplaces around Illinois can show support for heart disease
awareness in similar ways and encourage employees to learn the signs
of a heart attack — chest or upper body pain, shortness of breath,
and possibly lightheadedness, nausea or cold sweats.
Building partnerships and working together are essential to
overcoming public health problems and battling health conditions
such as cardiovascular disease, which is why IDPH has made this a
priority in the department's strategy for 2014-2018. For a copy of
the five-year strategic plan,
click here (PDF).
Illinois Department of Public
Health file received from the
Illinois Office of Communication and Information]