Fifty-eight years ago, in 1964, after seeing a need to bring attention and awareness to the cause of Heart Disease, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the month of February to be Heart Health Month. The tradition of Heart Health month places great emphasis and raises awareness of the risk factors, symptoms and treatment that contribute to either heart disease and heart health. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, with 1 in every 4 deaths being attributed to the disease.
That equals roughly 2,200 deaths per day. One of the most important things we can place as a priority this February is educating ourselves as to our personal risk factors for this disease, and what we can do to prevent it. These risk factors are the circumstances, behaviors and inherited traits that could increase a person’s likelihood of experiencing a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems. We may not be able to control traits inherited from this disease, but we can find ways to fight against it. Prevention can be as easy as reducing, or eliminating certain lifestyle choices, or taking certain medications or treatments. As always, working towards prevention is easier to work towards than a cure.
Some major risk factors that can contribute to heart disease are:
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension).
- High Blood Cholesterol
- Obesity and Overweight
- Physical Inactivity
Who is most at risk for heart disease?
According to Texasheart.org Men older than age 45 and women past menopause have the highest risk of a heart event. A family history of heart disease is a risk factor that you can’t directly control but that you should be aware of.
Do you think you might be at risk for heart disease?
- The Mayo Clinic offers online information regarding Heart Disease, such as: signs, symptoms and prevention
- The American Heart Association has great information about understanding your risks and heart attack prevention.
- As always, the best thing to do when calculating your risks is to speak with your doctor. They will be able to help you evaluate your lifestyle and genetic predisposition to consider factors that are more severe than others. They will also be able to help you get proper screenings for your cardiovascular health.
Stay connected with us throughout the month of February while we will be sharing information that can help you keep your heart healthy!
Changing your lifestyle can be a powerful intervention to prevent heart disease and that can lead to a longer, healthier life. It involves making good choices and requires some discipline, but it’s doable. Help make a difference in your community by spreading the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encouraging those around you to make healthy choices for a long, happy life.