American Heart Month
In today’s blog post, Julian Omidi highlights American Heart Month and gives tips on taking care of you most important muscle.
February is American Heart Month, which is a great opportunity to educate the public about the risks of heart diseases, learn how to prevent it and save lives.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) – heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure – is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. According to The Heart Foundation, approximately 1 million Americans die every year from heart disease, about 1 in every 4 Americans, more than any form of cancer. In 2008, the disease cost the U.S. an estimated $448.5 billion in healthcare services, medications and lost productivity. By 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death throughout the world.
The disease is 80 percent preventable with education and lifestyle changes. The main risk factors in heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. To lower the risk of heart disease:
- Watch your weight
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Limit alcohol use
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy
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Throughout the month of February, there will be many events to raise awareness of the disease and promote healthy behaviors. You can also do your share to spread the word:
- Wear red on Feb. 6, National Wear Red Day, to raise awareness about heart disease in women.
- Encourage co-workers, friends and family to make healthy dietary changes.
- Encourage physical activities in your child’s school.
- Get an annual physical exam.
- Participate in community events to raise awareness of heart disease or donate to help find the cure.
(For more on American Heart Month, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.)