February is American Heart Month, an opportunity to shine a light on heart disease which is the number one cause of death for men and women.

As part of “News All Day” Wellness Monday segment, Doctor Anu Lala, director of heart failure research at Mount Sinai, joined us to talk more about the causes and symptoms.

Some causes include stress, genetics, living a sedentary life, and taking your health for granted.

NY1 spoke to one of Dr. Lala’s patients, Frank Thomas, who shared some symptoms he experienced, which included a cough and getting out of breath after just a short walk.

Other symptoms can include chest pain, nausea, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck or jaw, and feeling lightheaded.

Dr. Lala emphasized though that if you are experiencing any of these, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a heart problem. Lala says that heart disease is a vast spectrum. One way to assess yourself before you speak with a doctor is to note if your daily activity (like walking up stairs or walking to your car) feels a little different.  

Lala notes that through medication through your doctor, as well as lifestyle changes, hope is never lost. It’s never too late to optimize your health and get better.

For more information, go to MountSinai.org/care/heart.