Know the Signs

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Heart attack symptoms can vary depending on age, gender and medical history, it's important to know your signs and seek immediate medical care if you're experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack.

  • Pain in the chest, arms, jaw, neck or shoulder
  • Pain between shoulder blades
  • Indigestion
  • Palpitations
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Numbness in the arms or hands
  • Back pain
  • Left sided chest pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained sweating
  • Unusual shortness of breath
  • Unexplained mental status changes
  • Fainting
  • Unusual confusion
  • Chest pain

Tips for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Risk factors for heart disease can include age, gender and family history as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activity and smoking. Here are seven small changes you can start making today to create a more heart healthy lifestyle. For more information visit American Heart Association.

Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. If you are a current smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. If you need help quitting, please visit or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

When you carry extra weight you increase the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. By living an active lifestyle, eating healthy and decreasing any extra weight you can lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better too.

Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.

A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy - for life!

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke due to the stress it creates inside your body. When your blood pressure stays within a healthy range, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.

High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog your arteries, decreasing the blood flow and potentially leading to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.

Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.

New Mexico Heart Institute/Lovelace Medical Group offer the HeartScan - a powerful screening that can detect heart disease at its earliest stages. It's convenient, painless and available for just $150.

HeartScan is idea for men 45 and older or women 50 and older, who have one or more of the following conditions:

  • Current smoker of former tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol (>200)
  • High triglycerides (LDL >100)
  • Known vascular disease
  • Overweight
  • Post-menopausal
  • Sedentary lifestyle

For more information visit or to schedule a screening, call 505.841.1000.

If you have any of these risk factors, consider scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist to learn more about your risk for heart disease and how to manage it.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 for immediate medical attention.

Call 505.841.1000 to schedule an appointment today.