People tend to believe only the seemingly unhealthy are afflicted with heart disease. It’s a common misconception that the disease only strikes those who are already suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
A new study reported today by NBC News, revealed that one in 12 U.S. service members has plaque buildup in the arteries around their hearts. Simply put, this early sign of heart disease exists in large numbers in one of the country’s healthiest demographics—the military.
So what does that mean for the rest of us?
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Often referred to as the “silent killer,” the disease claims approximately 1 million lives a year. It’s a good idea to remain ahead of the information curve in regards to the warning signs.
What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
Symptoms depend on the cause, severity, and type of heart disease. Common signs and symptoms in heart disease include:
- chest pain or abdominal distress
- cyanosis, a bluish discoloration of the skin
- enlarged veins in the neck
- fainting (passing out)
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- palpitations, an unusual awareness of the heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- swelling in the legs
- weakness and fatigue
Other signs and symptoms are also possible.