• American Heart Month: Go Red

    American Heart Month: Go Red

    Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Because of this staggering fact, the month of February is dedicated to spreading awareness and strategies for preventing heart disease.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. There are several types of heart diseases; the most common one being Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), killing over 370,000 people annually. Those are too huge of numbers to not take heart disease seriously especially when it’s something that can be prevented.

    Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

    There are several conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease. Luckily, these conditions and behaviors can becontrolled. Here are 4 ways to take control of your heart health as stated bythe CDC.

    1. Don’t Smoke – Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn to quit.
    2. Manage Conditions – Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly. If you do happen to have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work with your healthcare team to manage those conditions. The same goes for someone who is obese or diabetic since those people are at higher risk for heart disease; stay health-conscious.
    3. Make heart-healthy eating changes – Eat food low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. Too much of any of those can increase your blood pressure. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and aim for low-sodium options
    4. Stay active – Avoiding the gym or that jog around the block is putting you at risk! Exercising helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy, so aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week.

    610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year…but there’s a statistic that happens to be higher: heart attacks.

    According to the CDC, every year about 735,000 Americans has a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack.

    Early Signs of a Heart Attack

    So what is a heart attack? A heart attack happens when the blood supply to the heart is cut off. Cells in the heart muscle that do not receive enough oxygen-carrying blood begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart.

    Early action is crucial to surviving a heart attack. A survey by the CDC states that about 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occurred outside of a hospital setting suggesting that many people with heart disease don’t act on early warning signs. So if you experience or notice someone experiencing these signs TAKE ACTION!

    – Chest pain or discomfort

    – Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach

    – Shortness of breath

    – Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

    Take action this February. Heart disease is preventable so do your part and help stop it. If you’re worried about your risk of heart disease visit your local physician. If you’re worried about someone else’s risk of heart disease share this blog with them and advise for them to visit their family physician.  

    Stuart McKelvey

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Stuart McKelvey

Latest posts by Stuart McKelvey (see all)