American Heart Awareness Month
Quality of care for Veteran’s includes raising awareness around important health topics. By highlighting some of the national health awareness campaigns each month, Veterans can get ideas, information, and resources on a variety of health matters.
February is American Heart Month, a great time to take your health to heart and begin your journey to healthy living.
Cardiovascular disease, also known as “heart disease”, is the leading cause of death in the United States. Every day, 2,200 people die from heart diseases — that's nearly 800,000 Americans each year, or 1 in every 3 deaths. This disease prevents people from working, enjoying family activities, and maintaining their quality of life.
What is heart disease? It’s actually a group of diseases that affect your heart or blood vessels, including heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat.
Most risk factors for heart disease and stroke — like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity — are preventable and controllable. Controlling these risk factors could reduce risk of heart attack or stroke by more than 80%.
By exercising for as little as 30 minutes each day you can reduce your risk of heart disease. A first step you can make to improve your heart health is to start walking. Walking with a friend makes the time pass quicker and increases chances that both of you will do it every day.
What else can you do? You can play a role in reducing this disease with prevention. By knowing the risks and taking steps to reduce them we can bring our loved ones and ourselves closer to living heart-healthy lives!
For More Information:
- Track Health
My HealtheVet allows registered users to record and track health information in one convenient location. You can record and monitor your blood pressure, body weight, and more in the “Vitals” section and see a graph of your progress over time. You can also record your exercise routine and food intake in the “Journals” section. My HealtheVet has provided dozens of way to manage your health care. Sign up and start tracking your health today!
MedlinePlus offers two interactive tutorials designed to improve heart health: Exercising for a Healthy Life and Managing Stress. Each multimedia experience includes helpful facts and information as well as quizzes to test your knowledge.
- Heart Attack Risk Calculator
By answering a few health-related questions, you can calculate your risk of suffering a heart attack in the next 10 years and learn about small changes you can make to reduce your risk level.