Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, causing about 610,000 deaths annually. Heart disease is also an extremely expensive disease—costing the United States about $207 billion annually in the cost of health care, medications and lost productivity.
Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and properly managing health conditions. American Heart Month, organized by the American Heart Association (AHA), is designed to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it. Some simple self-care and prevention strategies include the following:
- Visit your primary care physician regularly
- Refrain from smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit your sodium intake
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your stress levels
- Limit your alcohol intake
The AHA’s website provides a detailed list of risk factors and common symptoms of heart disease. If you are concerned about your risk of developing heart disease or would like to find out more information about the condition, visit the AHA’s site and contact your primary physician.
Here's how you can make a difference during the month of February in support of American Heart Month:
- Wear red on Friday, February 3rd in support of Go Red For Women's "National Wear Red Day"
- Educate yourself and your loved ones
- Donate to a local cause in support of heart research