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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention - For Iowans

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is defined as, "any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally." Some of these disorders include: arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack, and heart failure.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Family History
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Overweight/Obesity

What is a heart attack?

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when the blood supply to a specific part of the heart is blocked and the tissue becomes damaged or begins to die.

Call 9-1-1 if you notice symptoms of a heart attack!

The signs may not be as noticeable as in the movies, but symptoms of a heart attack should never be ignored! Common warning signs include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Upper body (stomach, arms, back, neck, jaw) pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Light-headedness



    What is a Stroke?

    A stroke, or "brain attack", occurs when the blood supply to a specific part of the brain is blocked by a clot or the vessel carrying the blood bursts. Without an enough blood reaching the brain, the tissue can become damaged or begin to die.

    What are the symptoms of a stroke?

    Stroke symptoms appear suddenly and include:

    • Numbness in the face, arm, or leg (especially on one side);
    • Confusion or trouble speaking and understanding others;
    • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes;
    • Dizziness, trouble walking, loss of balance or coordination;
    • Severe headache with no known cause.

    If a person experiences one or more of these symptoms, they should call 9-1-1 immediately to prevent brain damage or death.

    Stroke Heroes Know how to BE FAST - Learn the Signs of Stroke

    Watch the video

    W.F. Bruen Rescue Squad
















    Get Screened

    Blood Pressure Screening

    Measure your blood pressure regularly so you and your health care provider can catch any health conditions early. If your blood pressure is high, you and your health care team can work together to take steps to control it. 

    Cholesterol Screening

    Did you know that one in six Americans has high cholesterol? Without proper treatment, having high blood cholesterol raises the risk for heart disease, the leading cause of death, and for stroke, the 6th leading cause of death for Iowans.

    Health Resources

    High Blood Cholesterol

    High Blood Pressure

    Resources and Programs from Iowa HHS