Heart Disease Awareness & Prevention from Mount Auburn Hospital

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Learn the symptoms of heart disease and what you can do to prevent it

Whether it’s from everyday deadlines, financial struggles, or the COVID-19 pandemic, stress shows up in life. Your body reacts to it and your health suffers – especially your heart. 650,000 Americans die from heart disease every year.

“Stress plays a critical role in heart disease. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, all of which can hurt your heart,” said Kyle Pond, MD, Chief of Cardiology at Mount Auburn Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. One in nine Americans have been diagnosed with heart disease. Pond says some symptoms of heart disease are:

• Chest pain

• Nausea

• Shortness of breath

• Sweating

• Dizziness

• Heart palpitations

How can you protect yourself? Pond says getting your stress under control – meditating, deep breathing and exercising – helps. He also recommends partnering with your doctor. “Talk with your doctor about your stress level and how it may affect blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and your overall cardiovascular risk. There are steps you can take to impact your risk; such as exercise, weight management, salt avoidance, smoking cessation to name a few.”

The American Heart Association suggests as little as 60 minutes of exercise a week, in ten-minute increments, can help (more is better, of course). They also suggest adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, cooking with less salt, limiting intake of high fat, high cholesterol foods, and sleeping 7-8 hours a night.

Also, understand when there is more than just stress going on in your life.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope, are using drugs or alcohol more frequently, or are having suicidal thoughts, seek professional help right away.

About Mount Auburn Hospital 

Mount Auburn Hospital was founded in 1886. A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, its mission is to provide clinically excellent care with compassion and to teach students of medicine and the health professions. For more information about Mount Auburn Hospital, please visit https://www.mountauburnhospital.org/.   

Mount Auburn Hospital is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education. For more information about Beth Israel Lahey Health, please visit www.bilh.org.

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