Heart disease is the leader in causes of death in the U.S. today, according to the CDC. It can be caused by a number of lifestyle habits, including smoking and also one’s diet. Being cognizant of the early signs could end up saving your life.
Just how prominent is heart disease in men? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), it’s found in over one in three men. The AHA warns that men make up over 48% of all deaths that are attributed to various heart conditions.
Men live with the greatest risk factor for heart disease, too, and only about 25% of men have met the federal guidelines for physical activity, according to Health.gov. In addition, over 20% of men are smokers, which is known to be a contributor to heart disease because it can narrow and constrict the blood vessels.
Heart disease is a term with many meanings. That’s because it can account for conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, angina, and a host of heart-related infections, irregularities and many others.
Early Signs Of Heart Disease In Men
While many men may be unaware that they suffer from heart disease until a major incident, like a heart attack, occurs, there are several red flags that you should be aware of to better detect problems with the heart during the earliest and most treatable phases, explains WebMD.
The early stages of heart disease may have come-and-go symptoms that include:
- Out of breath after moderate exercise, like climbing stairs.
- A feeling of achiness or squeezing in the chest that can last 30 minutes or longer.
- Pain in the upper extremities that can’t be explained.
Sometimes heart disease is caused by blood vessels. Key early signs include:
- Chest pain
- Shortened breath
- Pain or tingling in the upper extremities
These symptoms could mean that your blood vessels have narrowed and are constricted. This can sometimes be caused by the build-up of plaque, which forces the heart to work harder to pump blood.
Telltale Symptoms Of Heart Attack Or Stroke
A helpful checklist provided by Heart.org breaks down the most common signs and symptoms that are associated with heart attack or stroke.
Key signs of a heart attack include discomfort in the neck, back, abdomen or jaw. In addition, when a heart attack is occurring, it can cause shortness of breath, sweating, lightheadedness and even nausea.
The most common signs of a stroke involve numbness in the face, arms or legs, typically only occurring on a single side of the body.
Symptoms can also include;
- Being confused
- Having difficulty speaking
- Loss of balance
- Distorted vision
Since heart attack and stroke symptoms can come on suddenly and usually without any precursor, it’s imperative that you call emergency services as soon as possible if you experience any of them.
Prevention is the Key
The best way to arm yourself against heart disease is to be prepared well in advance. See your doctor regularly, and make sure you are eating a balanced and healthy diet while refraining from smoking and moderating the intake of alcohol and caffeine.