With symbolic hearts all around us in February, it seems fitting that it is
also the time that we recognize National Heart Month. This annual emphasis
goes beyond just heart disease to include other cardiovascular issues like
stroke. Let’s talk about these issues, contributing factors, and some of the
ways your Pearson Benefits can help with your cardiovascular health.

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely when the arteries supplying blood flow narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances.

In the case of stroke, when blood flow to an area of the brain is interrupted, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. A stroke can cause you to permanently lose speech, movement and memory. Strokes fall into three categories, ischemic (clots), hemorrhagic (bleeds) and Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIA). You can learn more about each type at the American Stroke Association.

Nationwide, someone dies from a heart attack about every 90 seconds, and stroke kills someone about every 4 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At the first sign of any of these symptoms, fast action by you or someone else could save a life and limit permanent damage to the body.

Women often have different heart attack symptoms than men. For instance, instead of having chest pain during a heart attack, women may feel extremely exhausted and fatigued or have indigestion and nausea or experience a vague sense of gloom and doom.

Visit the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for information about the warning signs of heart attack and stroke, your risk, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Sources: American Stroke Association; American Heart Association;CDC