Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 600,000 Americans each year — one in every four deaths. The month of February is devoted to raising awareness about heart health.
Things You Should Know
Cardiovascular disease kills more people each year than cancer, lower respiratory diseases and accidents.
Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than non-smokers.
Heart disease is the number one killer in women age 20 and over—approximately one woman every minute.
Annually, about 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 610,000 experience it for the first time and 325,000 occur in those who have previously had a heart attack.
Coronary heart disease costs the United States $108.0 billion annually. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.
So what can you do to protect yourself from heart disease?
While there are some risk factors you can’t control, such as age, gender, heredity, race and diabetes; however, there are risk factors for heart disease you CAN control, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, exercise, obesity and stress.
By eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and regular exercise for at least 30 minutes a day—you can do wonders for your heart. Determine whether or not your weight is within a healthy range, don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake. You should also talk with your healthcare provider about your heart care from monitoring your blood pressure to testing your cholesterol levels to regularly monitoring blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
If you already take good care of your heart, then help fight heart disease by encouraging others.