It’s not surprising that February is associated with hearts due to Valentine’s Day, but did you know what else the month is known for? February is also labeled as American Heart Month and has been since 1964. American Heart Month has served to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease.
Although heart disease statistics are scary, the disease can be prevented. Exercising regularly, eating healthy and making smart lifestyle choices are ways to combat heart disease. Here are a few facts, risks and tips related to the disease.
Facts about heart disease.
More than 630,000 Americans die per year from heart disease, making it the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the nation. Roughly every 40 seconds an American experiences a heart attack and more than one person dies each minute from the disease.
The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease develops when your major blood vessels become diseased or damaged. Plaque buildup in your arteries often leads to the ailment. The buildup occurs over a few years, and most people don’t notice an issue until a heart attack happens or a large blockage requires surgery.
Risk factors for heart disease.
To know more about heart disease and ways to improve your chances of steering clear of the killer, it’s important to know the risk factors. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are the most highly associated risk factors for heart disease. Although these are the leading risk factors for heart disease, Americans should also be aware of the effects of diabetes, substance abuse, not enough exercise and obesity.
Tips for a heart-healthy life.
You can lower your risk of heart disease by making healthier lifestyle choices.
- Take a walk. Avoid being sedentary and choose to walk as often as possible. Getting your steps in each day is a great way to improve your heart health.
- Avoid fast food. Shopping for groceries is an easy way to cut out excess fats and sugars in food when you’re able to select healthy options.
- If you smoke, quit.
Am I a Candidate?
Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.