Everywhere we go we hear that February is Heart Awareness Month but did you know that despite all the publicity heart disease is still the #1 killer of Americans? In 1964, 9 years after President Johnson himself had a heart attack, he declared that February would be heart awareness month. Since then, Americans have been celebrating February as American Heart Awareness Month as a way to try and educate our community on the importance of keeping a healthy heart.
Here are some facts about heart disease:
- It kills more people than all the different types of cancer combined.
- The amount of people affected by heart attacks each year is larger than the entire population of Dallas, Texas.
- More than 80% of Americans believe heart attacks are preventable yet many do not take steps towards prevention.
- More than 70% of Americans don’t think they are at risk for heart disease.
- Despite these staggering statistics, greater than 50% of Americans do not take steps to improve the health of their heart.
Understanding heart health and ways to keep your heart strong is very important however, where do you start? How do you know if you have heart disease? These and other questions can be very scary if you are like many Americans and do not work in the medical field. Knowing what the right steps are and where to start doesn’t need to be scary. The first step towards learning your heart health is to see your primary care provider on a regular basis. This first step seems small but can have a large impact on your health. They will screen you for heart disease as well as other chronic care conditions and help you start understanding how to live a healthy lifestyle.
The healthier our heart is the better chance we have of reducing our risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even heart attack and stroke. Many of us have friends, family members or even our own personal experience with these life altering medical issues. There is hope though because the more we know about our health the better prepared we are to deal with it. If you have not seen your primary care provider recently, call today to make an appointment to be seen. If you have been to your provider and they have diagnosed you with heart disease such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, be sure to be taking your medications as prescribed. This small step can have a huge impact on not only your heart but all of your health. If you aren’t sure when you last saw your provider, call them and check in. If taking your medications is difficult or costly, consider speaking to your provider about a possible cheaper medication you can take instead. All these small steps add up and contribute to making each of us have stronger hearts and healthier lives.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us at VITALity by calling 1-888-268-4825. Be sure to check in next month when we switch gears and talk about Colorectal Awareness Month.