Heart Disease: How and when to talk to your significant other

Our priority is making communities healthier. One way we do this is by providing educational opportunities and information that empowers people. Understanding the risk factors, signs and symptoms of certain illnesses and conditions, like heart disease, can have a serious impact on the likelihood of a positive outcome and a strong recovery.

And we don’t just want you to recognize these signs and symptoms in yourself. We want you to be able to recognize, and comfortably discuss, these warning signs with your loved ones. If we can detect potential heart problems, we are more likely to keep them from progressing into serious medical conditions. But these conversations can be challenging.

Here are a few tips to consider, if someone close to you is at risk:

Know the symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, 88% of sudden cardiac arrests occur at home, which means a spouse or child is likely to be the first to respond. Knowing the signs and symptoms will help you recognize a heart problem and act quickly and appropriately.

Share your concerns. Key to voicing your concerns is to do so in a caring and compassionate manner. You don’t want to come across as nagging the individual, rather you want the person to know that you care deeply about him or her and are genuinely concerned. Share any signs or symptoms you may have witnessed and offer to accompany the person to the doctor as a support system.

Encourage routine checkups. Routine visits to a primary care physician are important in establishing a baseline for health and also identifying potential health problems before they hit. These should be done regardless of whether or not specific concerns or symptoms are present.

Always call 911 if you think you are experiencing a heart attack. To learn more about heart attack symptoms, read our article, here. Discuss any concerns you have about your heart health with your primary care provider. And, if you need to find a primary care provider, use our online Find a Doctor tool.

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