The Beating Facts of the American Heart

February 26, 2019

In the month of February, we are surrounded by roses, chocolates, and most importantly, hearts. This is the time to not only share what is in our hearts, but also to recognize its physical condition. American Heart Month brings awareness to an issue that continues to drastically increase.

Nearly 33% of adults in the United States have high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure, can lead to potentially fatal outcomes.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Due to the prevalence of heart disease, it is important to regularly check the condition of your heart. There are multiple ways to check your heart health such as a scheduled appointment through your primary care provider or a through a simple at-home test.

“There are many different tests and assessments a provider can perform to evaluate a patient's heart health like monitoring blood pressure, Electrocardiogram, Echocardiogram, and stress tests”, states Bess Stephens, Nurse Practitioner at COMTREA Health Center.

Along with seeing your provider, it is also recommended to monitor your heart while at home. “A blood pressure monitor is a great way to watch your heart health, and is typically available to purchase at any local drugstore. A healthy blood pressure is less than 120/80”, continues Stephens.

 Exercising and eating a healthy diet are also major influences in maintaining the well-being of your heart. Some suggestions from Stephens are to, “Limit foods that are high in saturated fats and sodium. Incorporate the right amount of fruits, veggies, and whole grains in your diet; this will assist in maintaining a healthy body weight”.

Stephens strongly advises against smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. These behaviors can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease.

COMTREA Health Center, along with many other health care organizations in Jefferson County, exist to provide assistance with your heart health.

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