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February 15th, 2012

This Week in Orange County 2-15-12

Orange County Executive Edward Diana

Goshen - It’s all about the heart in February. We celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with loved ones, share heart-shaped boxes of candy, and exchange cards filled with heart-warming sentiments. But even more important than chocolate, roses, and clever verse, I urge you to be mindful of heart health during the month of February. According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease, so for yourself, and those you love, it’s critical to pay attention to hearth health.

Prevention is key when it comes to heart disease, Dr. Jean M. Hudson, Orange County Health Commissioner, reminds us. A healthy diet, regular physical activity, and a tobacco-free lifestyle are three positive steps that one can take to achieve a healthy, long life. It’s also important to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest and to act quickly if you are experiencing any of them.

Heart Attack Warning Signs: Chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, lightheadedness;

Stroke Warning Signs: Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of body, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden vision problems, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination, sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Cardiac Arrest Warning Signs: Sudden loss of responsiveness, no normal breathing.

If these signs are present - call 9-1-1 fast. These are life and death emergencies and every second counts. It’s important to keep in mind that not every sign occurs in every person - even if some occur it’s critical that you act quickly.

For more information about heart health, visit the American Heart Association’s website at

Heart health screenings also play an important role in prevention. For information about low-cost screenings available in Orange County, residents may call Healthy Orange at 568-5247 or visit

When it comes right down to it, maintaining a healthy heart is the real way to show someone you care.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Heart Month!

Until next week, I wish you good health and happiness.

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