Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 600,000 Americans each year. And it’s why we devote the entire month of February to raising awareness of heart health. You should also know:

  • Cardiovascular disease kills more people each year than cancer, lower respiratory diseases and accidents.
  • Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
  • Heart disease is the number one killer in women age 20 and over, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • Heart disease killed 631,636 people in 2006.

So what can you do to protect yourself from heart disease? While there are some risk factors you can’t control, such as age, gender, heredity, race and diabetes, there are risk factors for heart disease you CAN control, like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, exercise, obesity and stress.

By eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes each day, you can do wonders for your heart. Determine whether or not your weight is within a healthy range, don’t smoke and limit how much alcohol you drink. You should also talk with your health care provider about your heart care. Talk to him or her about monitoring your blood pressure, testing your cholesterol levels and regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

http://bestheartcare.com/programs-services/other-programs-services/americanheartmonth/