Patient Education for Heart Health

For more than 90 years, Baptist Health has been delivering quality healthcare to the citizens of Arkansas. As part of our mission, we are committed to promoting health education like the resources found below. For even more comprehensive health education, visit our health encyclopedia

Warning Signs of a Heart Attack

Anyone with chest pain that worsens over a five-minute period should call 9-1-1.
The following may be symptoms of a heart attack. Not all of these warning signs occur in every attack. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur:
  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back.

  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, back and arms.

  • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

  • Feeling very anxious or tired.

Worsening chest pain, especially if accompanied by shortness of breath, weakness or lightheadedness, can be a sign of a heart attack. The more quickly a person having a heart attack is treated, the more likely the person is to survive without long-term complications.

Quiz: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in adults in the United States. Knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) may help you save the life of someone who goes into cardiac arrest.

Cardiovascular Health 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. in both men and women. Based on recommendations from the American Heart Association, the following assessment guidelines* can help you determine how often these tests should be performed. 



Weight, Body Mass Index, Waist Circumference  

Every two years

Blood Pressure

Every two years


Every two years

Smoking, Diet, Physical Activity, Stress

Every visit

Lipid Profile

Every five years, if no other risk factors
Every two years, if other factors present

Fasting Blood Sugar 

Every five years, if no other risk factors
Every two years, if other factors present

Global Cardiac Risk Calculation

Calculate on all 40+ and with two-plus risk factors

*Guidelines do not take the place of your personal physician's recommendations.

Understanding Blood Pressure

Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls.
Two numbers are recorded when measuring blood pressure. The higher number, or systolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart contracts and pumps blood through the body. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, refers to the pressure inside the artery when the heart is at rest and is filling with blood.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, directly increases the risk of coronary heart disease (heart attack) and stroke (brain attack). With high blood pressure, the arteries may have an increased resistance against the flow of blood, causing the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health:
  • High blood pressure for adults is defined as 140/90 or greater

  • Normal blood pressure for adults is defined as 120/80

These numbers should be used only as a guide. A single elevated blood pressure measurement is not necessarily an indication of a problem. Your doctor will want to see multiple blood pressure measurements over several days or weeks before making a diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) and initiating treatment.

Quiz: Why Cholesterol Matters

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found in all parts of the body. It helps form cell membranes and is involved in the production of some hormones and vitamin D. Excess cholesterol can build up in the arteries, narrowing them and slowing or blocking blood flow to the heart, brain and other organs. Test your cholesterol knowledge with this brief quiz.
Click here to take the cholesterol quiz