One Heart Team.
Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital and Progress West Hospital work together to ensure you have the best cardiology care from one heart team. Cardiology Diagnostics, a full-service, adult cardiology practice, provides comprehensive cardiac health care in a responsive and compassionate environment at both hospitals.
According to the American Heart Association, someone in the United States has a myocardial infarction or a heart attack about every 34 seconds. And while tens of thousands will survive a heart attack, it’s important to understand the warning signs, how to determine if you are at risk and how to protect yourself from those risks, if possible.
What are the warning signs of a heart attack?
Heart attacks may occur suddenly and with intensity, but they often start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. And although they are called heart attacks, many symptoms can affect other parts of the body. There are common warning signs for a heart attack in both men and women. It’s important to remember, however, that women may experience other common symptoms different than men. Know the signs for a heart attack and talk to your doctor about any symptoms that concern you.
Common warning signs of heart attacks in men:
- Mild chest discomfort
- Neck/jaw or throat discomfort, pressure
- Arm/shoulder discomfort, pressure
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue
Common warning signs of heart attacks in women:
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea, vomiting
- Mid-chest discomfort or pressure
- Neck/jaw or throat pressure or discomfort
- Abdominal/mid-back discomfort or pressure
- Left side pain
- Sense of impending doom
Time is everything. Time is Life.
Most importantly, if you think you may be experiencing a heart attack, call 9-1-1 to ensure you will get to the fastest lifesaving treatment.
Heart Attack Risk Assessment
There are several risk factors that are controllable and may help prevent a heart attack, as well as impact other health-related concerns, explains Jennifer Mitchell, BSN, RN, supervisor for the Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital Vascular Intervention Center.
“It is very important for people to understand their risk factors for having a heart attack because many of the risk factors are things that can be modified. For example, they could change their diet, lose weight and stop smoking,” Mitchell says. “I recommend regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet and regular physicals for individuals who are concerned about their heart health.”
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the future by knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Even one risk factor, such as high cholesterol, that is not treated may lead to a higher risk later in life, according to the AHA.
To help guide you, Progress West and Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospitals provide heart risk assessments at both hospitals. For a fee of $25, you can learn more about your risk for a heart attack at a screening that will include a blood pressure check, cholesterol (lipid panel) and glucose levels, body composition analysis and Body Mass Index (BMI). If you are interested in one of the screenings, call 636.928.WELL (9355) to register.