It’s February 1st the Official Starting Day of Heart Month.
Heart disease remains the #1 killer of men and women in this country.
The Main Risk Factors for heart disease include:
· Increased age (55 or older for women, 45 or older for men) (Post menopause in women – loss of estrogen dramtically increases risk)
· A Family History of Heart Disease
· High Blood Pressure
· High Total Cholesterol, or High LDL (Bad) Cholesterol, or Low HDL (Good) Cholesterol, or High Triglycerides
· Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome
· Overweight/Obesity (especially increased belly fat)
· Physical Inactivity
· Emotional Stress
Other Conditions that can Increase Your Risk:
· Thyroid Disease
· Inflammatory Disease (like arthritis)
· Gum Disease
· Sleep Apnea
· Panic Anxiety Attacks
· Erectile Dysfunction in Men
· Premature Menopause in Women can lead to Premature Heart Disease
The more risk factors you have the greater your risk for developing heart disease. It is imperative that all men and women find out their individual risk factors and try to modify their lifestyle to decrease their risk for heart disease. If your healthcare provider does not mention them during your yearly physical evaluation – you should initiate the discussion. Why wait – if you do not already know which risk factors you have – it’s National Heart Month so find out.
Know Your Numbers – what is your blood pressure (the goal blood pressure for men and women is less than 120/80), what are your Cholesterol Numbers (important to know ALL the numbers not just the total cholesterol), what is your fasting blood sugar (current recommendations fasting blood sugar should be less than 100). Try to be physically active every day. Maintain an appropriate weight (Men’s waist circumference should be less than 40 inches, Women’s waist circumference should be less than 35 inches).
Learn the Signs of a Heart Attack.
SYMPTOMS OF A HEART ATTACK INCLUDE:
- Chest sensations (discomfort, pain, squeezing-feeling, heaviness, pressure)
- Arm, jaw, neck, shoulder blade discomfort or pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual fatigue/weakness
- Hot flush/Cold sweat
Do you know CPR? If not why not look into taking a CPR course – you could possibly save someone’s life someday.
Your Heart Beats About 100,000 times per day….
Learn How to Check your Heart Rate:
Count your pulse for 10 seconds and then multiply it by 6
The Normal Adult Heart Rate is between 60 to 100 beats per minute.
If you already know your risk factors for heart disease and are following a healthy lifestyle – Good For You! We applaude you! How about your spouse, significant other, parents or kids??
During Heart Month we are asking you think about your Heart!!!
Look for local programs in your area – there are many activities planned for Heart Month throughout the country. Why not learn something new about your heart this month.
If you are looking for more information about heart health visit:
American Heart Association www.americanheart.org/
We are cardiac nurse practitioners specializing in heart disease prevention. We want to help you live a longer healthier life. Brand new book “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” due out Feb 2009.
For more information please visit www.heart-strong.com
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HEARTSTRONG1
Visit our blog Healthy Hearts with Heartstrong https://heartstrong.wordpress.com/