Jeffrey H. Dover
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Atlanta Auto Accident and Medical Malpractice Attorney
In most cases it's virtually impossible to notice the onset of a disease until symptoms appear. Until these tell-tale signs show up, utilizing early-detection screenings is really the only way to detect a developing problem. This is the case with cardiovascular disease (CVD) or heart disease. Without regular testing to monitor your heart, we rely heavily on the appearance of symptoms to notify us of the disease's presence. Unfortunately, heart disease is sometimes called the "silent killer" due to the fact that symptoms for the disease are myriad and often subtle.

This makes recognizing the signs of CVD all the more crucial to your long-term health. The most common symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Swelling of the extremities
  • Palpitations (a fluttering sensation in the chest)
  • Chronic cough
  • Nocturia (having to urinate at night)
  • Dizziness of syncope (light-headedness or fainting spells)
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea, vomiting or indigestion, or heartburn
  • Chest discomfort (pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain)
  • Discomfort in other areas of the body
  • Headaches


When swelling occurs due to heart disease, it is most often found in the ankles. Bodily discomfort related to CVD can occur in many areas, including the arms, shoulders, back, neck, jaw or stomach.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, especially if you have risk factors for CVD, seek medical help immediately. The disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States. Often people are not sure what is wrong with them and wait too long to seek help. Calling 911 is almost always the fastest way to get life-saving treatment, often providing medical attention up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to a hospital by car.
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