Things to know about your heart

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – On average, 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 39 seconds, according to the American Heart Association.

February is American Heart Month, raising awareness throughout the nation to help educate on ways to keep your heart healthy.

Cardiologist Linda Calhoun shared a few things about your heart that you may not have known.

1- If you think you're having a heart attack, call 911. This may seem like an obvious action, but Calhoun said you'd be amazed at how many people wait to pick up the phone.  When symptoms start setting in, irrevocable damage could be caused to the heart muscles or you could suddenly die.  Learn more about warning signs.

2- Stay on top of your routine heart tests. You may think it's never going to happen to you, but heart disease can happen to anyone.  In fact, coronary heart disease is increasing in middle aged women, and 20 percent of all patients have silent heart disease that can only be detected during screening.

3- Don't be afraid to be treated for heart disease.  Side effects may sound scary, but doctors say cholesterol lowering drugs actually remodel the coronary arteries, reducing plaque and your risk of a heart attack.

Calhoun reminds that cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension are silent killers that often go unnoticed until there's organ damage.

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