February is observed as “American Heart Month” – a time to show support for the efforts to fight heart disease. Sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA), the 2018 month-long campaign is dedicated to spreading awareness about coronary heart disease (CHD), the importance of early detection, treatment and prevention, and the small lifestyle changes that can help improve heart health.
Heart disease is caused by a buildup of fatty plaques along the walls of the heart’s arteries, which restricts normal blood flow to the organs and tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths each year. Reports suggest that this disease kills an estimated 600,000 Americans each year.
The month-long campaign aims to alert people about the prominent risk factors associated with CHD and what steps they can take to prevent this deadly disease – both at home and in the community. Nearly half of Americans experience at least one or more symptoms or risk factors for this disease, though many people don’t really care about the same. High blood pressure, obesity, smoking, diabetes and lack of exercise can increase your potential risk of developing coronary heart disease. Age, gender and family history of heart disease also play a dominant role. Incorporating positive lifestyle habits like – combining a healthy diet with regular exercise can help control these risk factors. Getting enrolled in weight loss programs and smoking cessation programs offered by reputable healthcare centers in Brooklyn, NYC will be an ideal option.
February was officially designated as American Heart Month in 1963, (by the then President Lyndon B. Johnson) with an objective to encourage Americans to join the battle against CHD. Since 2004, February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) “Go Red for Women Campaign” which spreads the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem. “National Wear Red Day®” was held this year on February 2 to educate women about the seriousness of women’s heart health issues.
The 2018 national campaign aims to make a difference in the community – by spreading the word about possible strategies for preventing heart disease and encouraging people to live heart healthy lives. Incorporating simple tips or measures into daily life patterns can help people stay healthy and reduce their risk for heart disease, stroke and other major problems. These lifestyle tips include –
- Quit smoking
- Remain physically active
- Make healthy eating a habit (including consumption of mono and polyunsaturated fats, fruits and vegetables)
- Reduce body weight
- Control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar
As part of the event, hospitals, pain management centers, rehabilitation centers and corporations offer educational and inspirational products to employees and community members, thereby encouraging heart health awareness and heart attack prevention tactics for both women and men.
Celebrate American Heart Month! Join hands to generate more awareness about CHD.