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American Heart Month

In the United States heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, costs the United States $312.6 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. These conditions also are leading causes of disability, preventing people from working and enjoying family activities.

Seven tips for improving heart health to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, include the following:

  • 1. Schedule a visit with your primary care provider. Talk to your doctor about your weight; body mass index, waist circumference; blood pressure; cholesterol; fasting blood sugar; and family medical history.

  • 2. Be more active. Making small lifestyle changes may reduce heart disease symptoms and give your heart time for what matters most. Brisk walking for three or more hours per week could reduce the risk of coronary events in women by 30 to 40 percent.

  • 3. Increasing walking time or combining walking with vigorous exercise appears to be associated with even greater risk reduction. Ten minutes of walking three times a day can also lower blood pressure.

  • 4. Eat better. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have. You can start by choosing a healthy diet. If you have a choice between french fries or fresh vegetable, choose the vegetable! Adults should strive to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables a day. Eat foods that are low in saturated fat and salt and high in fiber. When you are eating healthy it is easier maintain a healthy weight.

  • 5. Manage your blood pressure and cholesterol. Managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar can help reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. High blood pressure and cholesterol are known risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

  • 6. Lose weight. If you’re overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by losing weight and keeping it off. Even losing as few as 5-10 pounds can produce a dramatic blood pressure reduction.

  • 7. If you smoke, talk to your doctor for resources that can help you quit.


Resources:
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/healthyheart.pdf

If you have any questions or you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 786-377-7777.


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