Human Resources

Be Heart Smart

February is American Heart Month, a time to learn more about heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart.

Heart attacks occur when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough blood. The more time that passes without restoring blood flow, the higher the chance for heart damage.

The USPS Health and Wellness team encourages you to know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, which include:

n Chest pain or discomfort;

n Feeling weak or light-headed;

n Feeling unusually tired or faint;

n Experiencing pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back;

n Shortness of breath; and

n Nausea or vomiting.

If you have these symptoms, call 911 immediately. The sooner medical treatment can be administered, the better the chances of surviving a heart attack.

The three most common risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. Half of all Americans have at least one of these risk factors, which are often asymptomatic, so it’s important to talk to your physician and know your levels.

To live a heart-healthy lifestyle, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests six strategies:

n Know your risks and family history.

n Make healthy food choices.

n Move more by getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week.

n Quit smoking.

n Take medications as directed by your healthcare provider.

n Drink water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol.

For more information about heart disease prevention, visit:

n The CDC website at

n USPS® February Wellness Toolkit at

American Hearth Month: Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle. 1. Learn your health history. 2. Eat Health Meals. 3. Move More and Sit Less. 4. If you Smoke, Quit. 5. Rethink your Drinks. 6. Take Medicines as Directed.Heart Attack: Heart attacks occur when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough blood. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack. Hypertension: High blood pressure is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it has no symptoms. Check your pressure on a regular basis. Cholesterol: Preventing high cholesteral begins with getting screened and knowing your family’s heart health history. High levels of LOL cholesterol, often called "bad cholesterol, shows no signs or symptoms.