February is American Heart Month!

1 in every 3 deaths in the United States are related to cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD doesn’t affect just older adults; data shows that younger populations are increasingly affected by CVD too. Now is a time for everyone to focus on their cardiovascular health.

Owensboro Health is shining a light on heart disease this month, the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Below are some facts about heart health and ways to keep your heart healthy!

Facts about Heart Disease

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 382,820 people in 2020.
  • The most important behavioural risk factors of heart disease and stroke are unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.
  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
  • Nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease.
  • From 2005 to 2015, the annual death rate attributed to coronary heart disease declined 34.4% and the actual number of deaths declined 17.7%

Preventing Heart Disease

  • Do not smoke or use tobacco.
    • Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen in the blood, which increases blood pressure and heart rate because the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.
  • Get up and active for at least 30 to 60 minutes daily.
    • Regular, daily physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps control your weight. It also reduces the chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on the heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
  • Get good quality sleep.
    • People who don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day. 
  • Manage stress.
    • Some people cope with stress in unhealthy ways — such as overeating, drinking or smoking. Finding alternative ways to manage stress — such as physical activity, relaxation exercises or meditation — can help improve your health.
  • Get regular health screenings.
    • High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably wouldn’t know you had these issues. Regular screenings can tell you if you need to take action. Click here find a doctor near you.

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