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Common Myths about Heart Disease - Part 2

September 12, 2011

Myth: I will know that I am experiencing a heart attack when I feel pain in my chest and arm.

Myths about Heart AttacksFact: False. Common symptoms such as chest pain and arm pain occur in 60% to 90% of all heart attacks. However, about 25% of heart attacks happen with uncommon signs, or no sign at all. Such heart attacks are often referred to as “silent heart attacks”, and they usually happen to people who are suffering from diabetes. Only about 50% of women who are having a heart attack will experience chest pain; others show uncommon symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea, and stomach upset.

Myth: Only elderly people get heart disease.

Fact: False. While it is true that the risk of heart disease increases with age, the roots of the disease may have already been planted when you were a child or teenager. The plaque in your arteries can take years to build up, and it will start causing problems when you reach adulthood. The eating habits and lifestyles of present-day young adults also make them more susceptible to heart disease. Two decades ago, heart disease mostly occurred in people who were 50 to 70 years old, but now, it is affecting a growing number of people in their 30s and 40s.

Myth: I will not get heart disease if I lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Fact: False. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can certainly improve your heart health, but it does not eliminate all the risk factors of heart disease. There are other many other factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease, and they include family history, stress, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and others. Old age, post-menopause, and ethnicity can also make a person more vulnerable to heart disease.