Dr. Joe Galati will be joined by Michael J. Mihalick MD tonight, and will discuss some of the latest topics in heart disease and its prevention.
 
Dr. Mihalick is a cardiologist at St. Luke's/Texas Heart Institute, located in Houston, Texas.
 
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help.

Immediately call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number so an ambulance (ideally with advanced life support) can be sent for you. As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

Learn the signs, but remember this: Even if you're not sure it's a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 or your emergency response number.

Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room.

For more information, visit our heart attack website.

There are eight main ways you can control your blood pressure.

They are:

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical for the prevention of HBP and an indispensable part of managing it. Think of these changes as a "lifestyle prescription" and make every effort to comply with them.

Whether you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or are concerned because you have some of the risk factors for the disease, understand this: while there is no cure, high blood pressure is manageable.

By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can:

  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Prevent or delay the development of HBP
  • Enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications
  • Lower your risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease
     

Here's how to do your part:

  • Be informed
    Of all people with high blood pressure, over 20 percent are unaware of their condition. This symptomless disease could leave them with substantial health consequences. Are you one of them? If you don't know, see a healthcare professional to be tested.
  • Do your part to reach your treatment goals
    Consider these statistics regarding those with known HBP:
    • 69.1 percent are under current treatment
    • 30.9 percent are not currently under treatment, even though they know their blood pressure is high
    There is no healthy level of high blood pressure. Don't take life-or-death chances with this disease. Instead, take responsibility! Work with your healthcare professional to determine your treatment goals and map out your best action plan for HBP prevention and management.