February is American Heart Month 2015

SHP BeKindToYourHeartFebruary is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) include heart disease, stoke, and high blood pressure is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States. One in four deaths is attributive to CVD. It is the leading cause that prevents Americans from working and enjoying family activities (quality of life).

Men are twice as likely to die of preventable CVD as women. Having a close relative with CVD puts you at a higher risk. Disparities based on location also seem to exist. During 2007 – 2009, death rates due to heart disease were highest in the South and lowest in the West.

While race and ethnicity also affect your risk, the larger majority of cases are due to risk factors that respond to things we can change.
These factors are:
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Elevated cholesterol
• Uncontrolled diabetes
• Being a smoker
• Being sedentary

Heart disease can be silent. We may not know we have it until we have a cardiac event. At that time one or all of the above factors can manifest themselves. That is the reason we are encouraged to have routine check-ups: so we can correct these factors before they lead to heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease can affect your quality of life and we are all about having a great quality of life! As we know race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Be a good example for friends or relatives that you can turn CVD around and have a good quality of life.

We see the heart as a symbol of our love, but it is the organ in our body that enables the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood through our body. As we age the valves in our legs may not function efficiently. This puts more stress on the heart. Compression stockings work with the muscles in our legs to help the valves in our legs close better.

• Love your heart and learn how to keep it healthy
• Go for a yearly physical each year
• Get informed about the 6 risk factors and how you can change them
• Get 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 days a week.

Each one of us must make a personal decision to modify our lifestyles in order to have a better quality of life. So I encourage everyone to put on their support hose or support socks and take a walk. It’s the first step to a healthier heart for you.

Here’s to a healthy you,

Vanda

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