American Heart Month is recognized this month, nationwide. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 25% of deaths are caused by heart disease.
But, heart disease can often be prevented if people are educated to make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to inform and create healthier choices.
All of us can make a difference in our communities. We can spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.
American Heart Month: Become Aware
Heart disease is no longer an illness of senior citizens. Younger age groups are also displaying cardiovascular disease. Use this month to become aware and learn how you can prevent it. Here are some tips:
- High blood pressure. Millions of Americans of all ages have high blood pressure, including millions of people in their 40s and 50s. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke.
- High blood cholesterol. High cholesterol can increase the risk for heart disease. Having diabetes and obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough physical activity can all contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.
- Smoking. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.
- Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
- Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
- Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
American Health Month: Spread The Word
The American Heart Association recommends the following strategies you can use to spread the word about heart disease and how to prevent it:
- Add information about living a heart healthy lifestyle to your newsletter.
- Tweet about American Heart Month.
- Host a community event to promote heart health, like a group walk or a heart-healthy cooking demonstration.
- Join the American Heart Association’s national movement to support healthier communities and healthier lives.