February Is Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack and about 600,000 people die from heart disease.

  • Symptoms of a heart attack may include:
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back
  • Feeling weak, light headed or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulders
  • Shortness of breath

There are some health conditions and lifestyle factors that can put people at higher risk of developing heart disease. During American Heart Month, let’s make a commitment to keep our hearts strong and healthy.

Here are a few suggestions to accomplish that goal:

  • Eat a healthy diet(eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, low saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, low salt and high fiber)
  • Maintain a healthy weight (overweight and obesity can increase your risk)
  • Exercise regularly (Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol)
  • Monitor your blood pressure (high blood pressure may have no symptoms so check regularly)
  • Don’t smoke (cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk)
  • Limit alcohol use (too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure)
  • Have your cholesterol checked
  • Manage your diabetes (monitor your blood sugar closely)
  • Take your medicine (if you are taking medicine for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, please follow your doctor’s orders)

Reference; Go AS, Mozaaffarian D, Roger VL, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics-2013 update: a report from the AMA circulation. 2013;127(1);e6-e245. NewsRoomAmerica.com-Presidential Proclamation—American Heart Month, 2013.