Friday, February 1, 2013

American Heart Month - Learn your risk factors

February is American Heart Month, and it serves as a reminder that you can take steps to prevent heart disease and stroke and control the risk factors. Even if you don’t think you have obvious symptoms, you may still be at risk.

One in four Coloradans dies from heart disease or stroke. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor.

A person with high blood pressure is three times more likely to die from heart disease and four times more likely to die from a stroke. About 25 percent of Coloradans know they have high blood pressure, but only about half have it under control.

Obesity and tobacco use, two of Colorado’s 10 winnable battles, are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Currently, about 56 percent of Colorado adults are overweight or obese, and 18 percent use tobacco.

The Million Hearts’ Initiative, a joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes nationally over five years. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies and private-sector partners to fight heart disease and stroke.

Be one in a million hearts. Make your commitment and pledge today.

Lower your risk of heart disease and stroke by taking simple steps:
  • Eat a healthy diet.(fruits, vegetables, low salt and low fat) 
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be active. Exercise regularly. (at least 30 minutes four times a week)
  • Be smoke-free.
  • Limit alcohol use.
  • Manage any medical condition you might have. Learn the ABCS of health. Keep them in mind every day and especially when you talk to your health provider:
o   Appropriate aspirin therapy for those who need it
o   Blood pressure control
o   Cholesterol management
o   Smoking cessation

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