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Programs & Services

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

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

Knowing your risk for high cholesterol

Learn about cholesterol from the CDC

High Blood Pressure

Learn about high blood pressure from the CDC

Understanding Blood Pressure Readings

State Plan

The Iowa Million Hearts State Action Plan and Million Hearts Task Force provides a framework to reduce the risk factors related to heart disease and stroke, decrease its impact of individuals and families and increase quality and years of healthy life among Iowans. 

 2022 Iowa Million Heart State Action Plan