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How common is heart disease?

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? Nearly one in four deaths in the U.S. are the result of heart disease, with approximately 610,000 people dying from it annually. Coronary heart disease, or CHD, is the most common form, killing nearly 370,000 Americans each year.

Although heart disease cannot fully be prevented, there are steps that people can take to protect themselves. A person's lifestyle and habits may put them more at risk of heart disease, as people who are overweight and obese are especially vulnerable. A healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can all help. Nearly half of Americans have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or smoke, and each of these can dramatically increase the risk of developing heart disease.

There are also symptoms that may suggest that a person is having a heart attack, including but not limited to upper body pain, including the chest, back, neck, arms, jaw and stomach; a shortness of breath; cold sweat; lightheadedness and nausea. Anyone who experiences these symptoms and heart attack warning signs should seek medical attention. Treating potential symptoms and properly addressing them may be the difference between life and death.

Unfortunately, heart disease also affects the healthy. New Yorkers who are unable to work due to heart disease, they may qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits for the condition. People in this situation may want to visit the Social Security Administration's website or speak with a local attorney who is familiar with Social Security disability claims, to see if they qualify.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Heart Disease Facts," Accessed on Nov. 17, 2015

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