In the Journals

CDC: Only half of US adults know all common heart attack symptoms

Just 50.2% of American adults knew all five common symptoms of myocardial infarction in 2017, according to findings published in MMWR.

This is an increase from 2008, when 39.6% of Americans knew these symptoms: chest pain or discomfort; feeling faint, lightheaded or weak; pain or discomfort in the back, neck, or jaw; shortness of breath; and pain or discomfort in the shoulder or arms.

Researchers said there is still room for improvement.

“The suboptimal knowledge among U.S. adults identified in this study, especially among racial/ethnic minority groups, those with lower levels of education, and those with more CVD risk factors, highlight a need for enhanced and focused educational efforts,” Jing Fang, MD, of CDC’s division of heart disease and stroke prevention and colleagues wrote.

“Clinical, community, and public health efforts are needed to continue to systematically improve the awareness of heart attack symptoms throughout the United States,” they added.

The release of the data coincides with American Heart Month, recognized each February and used by many medical societies and organizations to provide reminders of ways to obtain good heart health.

For example, AMA offered the following tips clinicians can pass on to their patients to curb the incidence of heart disease:

Barbara L. McAneny , MD , AMA president, explained that the benefits of getting patients to adopt these behaviors are twofold.

“We know that by empowering more patients to monitor and control their blood pressure, we will continue to not only help improve health outcomes for patients, but also reduce health care costs,” she said in the release.

Middle aged white man having heart attack 
Just 50.2% of American adults knew all five common symptoms of myocardial infarction in 2017, according to findings published in MMWR.
Source:Adobe

Other organizations like AAFP also provide resources to help their patients obtain or maintain good heart health.

During the past decade, the Academy supported the following clinical recommendations related to heart-healthy behaviors in adults:

  • Initiating low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD in those aged 50 to 59 years who have a 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk, are not at increased risk for bleeding, have a life expectancy of at least 10 years, and are willing to take low-dose aspirin each day for at least 10 years.
  • Referring or offering those who are overweight or obese and have additional CVD risk factors to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for CVD.
  • Screening for high BP in those aged 18 years or older and also obtaining measurements outside of the clinical setting for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment.
  • Using a low- to moderate-dose statin for CVD event prevention and mortality in patients aged 40 to 75 years; with one or more CVD risk factors and a calculated 10-year risk for a CV event of 10% or greater.
  • Screening all adults for obesity and offering or referring patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions.
  • Asking all patients (including pregnant women) if they use tobacco, advising them to stop using tobacco, and providing behavioral interventions and FDA-approved pharmacotherapy for cessation to adults who use tobacco.

At least one researcher has suggested management of acute coronary syndrome, which can lead to myocardial infarction, is not just for the cardiologist.

“Every 34 seconds, one American has a coronary event. It is important for primary care physicians to be able to diagnose and manage acute coronary syndrome,” Timothy L. Switaj, MD, of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas and colleagues wrote in American Family Practice.

Previously released CDC data indicate heart diseases like myocardial infarction have been the number one cause of death of American men and women for at least a decade. Other data suggest 48% of Americans have some form of heart disease. – by Janel Miller

References:

AAFP.org. "Summary of recommendations for clinical preventive services." Accessed Feb. 7, 2019.

CDC.gov. "Mortality in the United States 2015." Accessed Feb. 7, 2019.

Fang J, et al. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;published online ahead of print.

Heron M, et al. “Deaths: Final data for 2006." Natl Vital Stat Rep. Vol. 57, No 14.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2011 Aug 26;59(8):1-95.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2012 Jun 6;60(6):1-94.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2012 Oct 26;61(7):1-94.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2013 Dec 20;62(6):1-96.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2015 Jul 27;64(7):1-96.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2015 Aug 31;64(10):1-93.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2016 Feb 16;65(2):1-95.

Switaj TL, et al. Am Fam Physician. 2017;Feb 15;95(4):232-240..

Disclosures: None of the authors report any relevant financial disclosures.

 

Just 50.2% of American adults knew all five common symptoms of myocardial infarction in 2017, according to findings published in MMWR.

This is an increase from 2008, when 39.6% of Americans knew these symptoms: chest pain or discomfort; feeling faint, lightheaded or weak; pain or discomfort in the back, neck, or jaw; shortness of breath; and pain or discomfort in the shoulder or arms.

Researchers said there is still room for improvement.

“The suboptimal knowledge among U.S. adults identified in this study, especially among racial/ethnic minority groups, those with lower levels of education, and those with more CVD risk factors, highlight a need for enhanced and focused educational efforts,” Jing Fang, MD, of CDC’s division of heart disease and stroke prevention and colleagues wrote.

“Clinical, community, and public health efforts are needed to continue to systematically improve the awareness of heart attack symptoms throughout the United States,” they added.

The release of the data coincides with American Heart Month, recognized each February and used by many medical societies and organizations to provide reminders of ways to obtain good heart health.

For example, AMA offered the following tips clinicians can pass on to their patients to curb the incidence of heart disease:

Barbara L. McAneny , MD , AMA president, explained that the benefits of getting patients to adopt these behaviors are twofold.

“We know that by empowering more patients to monitor and control their blood pressure, we will continue to not only help improve health outcomes for patients, but also reduce health care costs,” she said in the release.

Middle aged white man having heart attack 
Just 50.2% of American adults knew all five common symptoms of myocardial infarction in 2017, according to findings published in MMWR.
Source:Adobe

Other organizations like AAFP also provide resources to help their patients obtain or maintain good heart health.

During the past decade, the Academy supported the following clinical recommendations related to heart-healthy behaviors in adults:

  • Initiating low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD in those aged 50 to 59 years who have a 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk, are not at increased risk for bleeding, have a life expectancy of at least 10 years, and are willing to take low-dose aspirin each day for at least 10 years.
  • Referring or offering those who are overweight or obese and have additional CVD risk factors to intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for CVD.
  • Screening for high BP in those aged 18 years or older and also obtaining measurements outside of the clinical setting for diagnostic confirmation before starting treatment.
  • Using a low- to moderate-dose statin for CVD event prevention and mortality in patients aged 40 to 75 years; with one or more CVD risk factors and a calculated 10-year risk for a CV event of 10% or greater.
  • Screening all adults for obesity and offering or referring patients with a BMI of 30 kg/m2 or greater to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions.
  • Asking all patients (including pregnant women) if they use tobacco, advising them to stop using tobacco, and providing behavioral interventions and FDA-approved pharmacotherapy for cessation to adults who use tobacco.

At least one researcher has suggested management of acute coronary syndrome, which can lead to myocardial infarction, is not just for the cardiologist.

“Every 34 seconds, one American has a coronary event. It is important for primary care physicians to be able to diagnose and manage acute coronary syndrome,” Timothy L. Switaj, MD, of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas and colleagues wrote in American Family Practice.

Previously released CDC data indicate heart diseases like myocardial infarction have been the number one cause of death of American men and women for at least a decade. Other data suggest 48% of Americans have some form of heart disease. – by Janel Miller

References:

AAFP.org. "Summary of recommendations for clinical preventive services." Accessed Feb. 7, 2019.

CDC.gov. "Mortality in the United States 2015." Accessed Feb. 7, 2019.

Fang J, et al. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019;published online ahead of print.

Heron M, et al. “Deaths: Final data for 2006." Natl Vital Stat Rep. Vol. 57, No 14.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2011 Aug 26;59(8):1-95.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2012 Jun 6;60(6):1-94.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2012 Oct 26;61(7):1-94.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2013 Dec 20;62(6):1-96.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2015 Jul 27;64(7):1-96.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2015 Aug 31;64(10):1-93.

Heron M, et al. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2016 Feb 16;65(2):1-95.

Switaj TL, et al. Am Fam Physician. 2017;Feb 15;95(4):232-240..

Disclosures: None of the authors report any relevant financial disclosures.