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Heart Attack

Heart attack (coronary attack) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In most cases it is caused by a blood clot forming on a plaque. The clot forms on the plaque and blocks the artery. It is not known exactly when a plaque will rupture and cause a clot.

Since heart attack is not sudden, everybody can take steps to prevent it. Many heart attacks start slowly, as a mild pain or discomfort. It is important to know the warning signs of a heart attack to seek medical care as soon as possible. When medication is given soon enough after the onset of the symptoms of a heart attack, it can prevent permanent damage to the heart muscle cells.

Warning signs of a heart attack:
- Chest discomfort
- Chest pain that may radiate to the jaw or left arm
- Shortness of breath
- Sweat, nausea, or light-headedness

If you are not sure it's a heart attack, you should go to the doctor to check it out. Symptoms may vary, and fast action may save your life.
Each year, about 1.1 million Americans suffer a heart attack. About 460,000 of those heart attacks are fatal. About half of those deaths occur within 1-2 hours of the start of symptoms and before the person reaches the hospital. The sooner you get to the emergency room, the better your chance of surviving and preventing the permanent damage done to your heart. Life Alert Emergency response allows you to get emergency help right away, even if you can not reach the telephone.

Men and women are at an increased risk of having a heart attack if they:
- have pre-existing heart diseases
- have family history of early heart disease
- are over 55
- have high blood pressure
- have high blood cholesterol
- are overweight
- have diabetes
- smoke

You can reduce your risk of having a heart attack with healthy life style together with moderate exercise. By having Life Alert Emergency Response at your home, you will be able to get help quickly and on time - when every second counts!

Risk factors do not add their effects in a simple way. Rather, they multiply each other's effects. So, it is very important to prevent or control risk factors that can be modified. If you have one or more of these factors, see your health care provider to find out how to reduce your risk of having a first or repeat heart attack.

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* Life Alert defines a life saved, where a subscriber activated the system, had an actual emergency,
was home alone, was unable to get to the phone for help, and Life Alert dispatched help.