Diseases of the Heart and Stroke:
Illinois’ Leading Killers
Heart disease and stroke are, respectively, the first and third leading causes of death and also the major causes of disability. In 2003, there were 29,704 deaths in Illinois due to heart disease and 6,883 deaths due to stroke. The total number of deaths from all causes during the year was 104,930.
Prevention efforts coupled with effective disease management can reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes, cut the number of deaths from these diseases, and relieve some of the disability suffered by heart attack and stroke survivors.
The Illinois Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program focuses on achieving six priorities:
- Control high blood pressure.
- Control high cholesterol.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke - call 911 immediately if signs or symptoms are present.
- Improve emergency response time.
- Improve quality of care
- Eliminate disparities.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and its partner agencies and colleagues around the state are making significant progress in helping people to address their risk factors. Successful programs are in place to reduce tobacco use; to increase daily physical activity and consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk; and to change environmental and policy systems that can have an impact on heart disease and stroke. The partnership also strives to increase education, training, assessment and communication efforts aimed at the prevention and control of heart disease and stroke.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath along with, or before, chest discomfort
- Cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Call 911if you have any of these symptoms or if you see someone else experiencing these warning signs. Treatment is more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts!
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
Who is at Risk?
Can I Reduce My Risk?