The month of February is American Heart Month. This is a time to spread awareness about the health of the heart for us and to those around us. It is also about educating ourselves by learning different ways of managing and preventing heart disease. Every February since 1964, former President Lyndon Johnson established American Heart Month as a way to “give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.” This is to urge everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle because diseases know no borders.

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women? Statistics from the World Health Organization show that heart disease causes more than 17 million deaths across the globe every year. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease in the US. Approximately over 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year- that is 1 in every 4 deaths!

Heart disease is a disease that can lead to death, and yet, it can be prevented. Some risk factors for heart disease can include:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Physical inactivity

Age is another major risk factor for heart disease. Studies have shown that 4 of every 5 deaths due to heart disease occur in people age 65 and over. As we age, our bodies go through changes that may increase your risk of heart disease. This can include the build up of fat in the arteries over time, that can decrease the amount of blood getting to the heart. In turn, this can lead to heart failure and heart attacks. Changes in the arteries as we age, can also lead to high blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to have your blood pressure check regularly.

The American heart Association has named February 7th to be National Wear Red Day. This is a day to raise awareness on health heart issues especially for women. It is also to encourage all people to adopt a healthy behavior change not only for that day but to last a lifetime.

Join me and wear red for heart heath awareness!

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