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Did You Know that February is Heart Health Month?

Did You Know that February is Heart Health Month?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control says that about 610,000 Americans die each year from heart disease- that is 1 in every 4 deaths.

It may sound grim, but there is good news. From 2003 to 2013, the death rate from heart disease fell about 38 percent. Even with the reduction, the number of people affected is still too high.

The leading cause of heart disease and stroke? Uncontrolled high blood pressure. More than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which makes them 4 times more likely to die from a stroke and 3 times more likely to die from heart disease- compared to people with normal blood pressure. 

High blood pressure often shows no signs or symptoms, which is why it is important to have it checked regularly. You can get it screened at your doctor’s office or even check it at home using a home blood pressure monitor.

What are the other risk factors for heart disease?

  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Too Much Alcohol
  • Tobacco Use
  • Age – Your risk increases as you get older

There are also some genetic factors that contribute to heart disease… those cannot be controlled, but you should control the things that you can by having goals for yourself

If you’re a smoker, talk to your doctor about a plan to quit.  If you have high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about things you can do to lower them. With your doctor’s permission, start an exercise program. There are definitely things you can do to lower your risk.

Whatever you do – be sure that your heart is a priority… you only have one. Be sure to talk to the doctors at AFC Urgent Care Portland for help with your heart health.