February is American Heart Month

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.

Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s one out of every four deaths.

The five major symptoms of a heart attack

  • 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 shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

If you think that you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately. Early recognition and prompt action is the key.

Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions also are leading causes of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities.

Small steps to take to bring ourselves or our loved ones closer to heart health

Of course we must take it one step at a time.

As you begin your journey to better heart health, keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart.
  • Don’t go it alone. The journey is more fun when you have company. Ask friends and family to join you.
  • Don’t get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night’s sleep and do what you can tomorrow.
  • Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family or friends.

Plan for Prevention

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor your blood pressure
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Have your cholesterol checked.
  • Manage your diabetes.
  • Take your medicine.

 Together, we can prevent heart disease, one step at a time.

 

 

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