February is American Heart Month
How healthy is your heart? Do you know you may be able to prevent heart disease? February is American Heart Month and a great opportunity to increase your awareness about the importance of heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of disability. Heart disease is a term that refers to several types of heart conditions, although Coronary heart disease is the most common type in the United States. It can lead to a heart attack, angina, and even heart failure, equally affecting men and women alike.
Heart disease develops slowly and silently over time, often going unnoticed until it causes a heart attack. Some risk factors include having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a family history of heart disease. Other risk factors include smoking, stress, physical inactivity, being overweight and age, especially over 55. However, by lowering the risk factors and adopting a healthier lifestyle, you may be able to prevent heart disease. Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and quitting smoking are just a few of the steps you can take to improve your heart health.
Various educational and community events will be held throughout the country to raise awareness about heart disease. For more information, please visit the American Heart Association website at www.americanheart.org and The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) website at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.