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According to the American Heart Association (AHA), coronary heart disease is the single largest cause of death in the United States. When considering a daunting statistic such as this, it is clear that heart disease knows no age, race, or gender. Although there are certain risk factors and lifestyle changes that can increase your potential for heart attack, stroke, or even death, we all must be mindful of the choices we make, and the potential warning signs for early onset heart disease.

Many Americans view heart disease as a worry only to senior citizens, noting that 82% of all those who die as a result of heart disease are over the age of 65; however heart problems can occur at any point throughout life and you must individually work to reduce your personal risk factors, and if you begin experiencing any signs of heart conditions or trouble, should be treated immediately.

As with any medical condition, it is important to be aware of the warning signs so as to understand if you may be experiencing any of the symptoms of heart disease. Being mindful of your physical wellbeing is the best defense, and watching for any shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats, nausea, sweating, or chest pressure, will make you more aware of any potential issues. If you experience any of the listed symptoms, or believe that you may be experiencing signs of heart disease, you should ensure you receive prompt and immediate treatment.

There are also a number of risk factors that you should consider with respect to your potential for heart disease, and heart complications. Uncontrollable factors such as male sex, older age, and a family history of the disease can increase your prevalence. However, the most important preventative measure you can take when defending against heart disease is to not engage in activities that could increase your potential for contracting the disease and pose a threat to the health of your cardiovascular system. Controllable risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and continuous stress and anger, can all contribute to an increased threat of heart disease.

As with all medical complications, the most important tool is education. Understanding the disease, taking defensive measures, and awareness as to symptoms and signs, can be the difference between death, and a life free of heart disease. Continuing annual visits to your physician, maintaining an active lifestyle, and continuing to educate yourself and your loved ones, will ensure you live a long, and healthy life.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, Eastern Shore Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service.

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