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4 Vital Tips for Traveling With Heart Disease

4 Vital Tips for Traveling With Heart Disease

How to be prepared in the event of a heart attack while traveling.

According to a paper presented at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of natural death among people who are traveling. So as you head out for a spring break or a weekend adventure, if you’re one of the 15 million Americans with coronary heart disease or the 78 million with high blood pressure, don’t ignore heart attack symptoms while away from home. They include pain in the chest, throat, neck, back, stomach or shoulders that last for more than 15 minutes. In addition, women commonly experience unusual fatigue, shortness of breath and sweating.

What to do:

  • The American Heart Association recommends letting your doctors know where you’ll be headed. They might know physicians or reputable heart institutes in the area if help is needed.
  • Always make sure you have your medications with you (and updated) as well as your cardiologist’s phone number.
  • Have local emergency numbers at hand and when abroad, and phrases you may need to communicate a medical emergency.
  • Medical centers like the Cleveland Clinic and some credit card companies offer a global emergency evacuation policy. Find out if you can purchase one prior to traveling.

As a presenter at the 2019 ESC congress said, “Our study shows that long-term outcomes after a heart attack while traveling can be good, if you get prompt treatment.”

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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