Raise awareness on heart health

February is designated American Heart Month.

February is designated American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, but you can help prevent heart disease by knowing the risk factors, and making heart-healthy choices.

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about half of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at higher risk for heart disease, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Genetics

You can help lower your risk of heart disease and heart attack by eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity and limiting tobacco and alcohol use. If heart disease runs in your family, you should also talk to your Primary Care Physician (PCP) to see what non-surgical diagnostic tests might be appropriate for you to assess your heart and vascular health.

Sharp offers a Healthy Hearts Webinar that teaches practical tips for healthy cooking, shopping and dining out to reduce risk of heart disease. They also offer several other classes and services for people with heart conditions.