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From the Director’s Desk: Take Better Care of Your Heart

Every year, nearly 610,000 people die of heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In fact, it kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. 

Heart disease is described as any disorder of the heart, including issues and deformities in the heart itself. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, which affects the blood flow to the heart and could lead to heart attack. 

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of Americans have at least one of the three risk factors. When a person lives with a combination of two or more risk factors, the conditions tend to “gang up” and worsen each other’s effects. 

Other medical conditions and factors that increase heart disease risk include:

  • Diabetes and prediabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Family history 
  • History of preeclampsia during pregnancy
  • Unhealthy diet 
  • Age (55 or older for women)

Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices. Some risk factors, like age and family history, can’t be changed, but some can. This includes quitting smoking, controlling other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, exercising at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week, eating a diet low in salt and saturated fat, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing and managing stress and practing good hygiene (to prevent viral or bacterial infections that could lead to heart infections). 

Choose today to make a change. It’s important to your heart’s health.

To learn more about heart disease, signs, symptoms and prevention, click here.

Thank you for stopping by the Director’s Corner where your health is our priority!