February is American Heart Month – a time for the nation to spotlight heart disease, the #1 killer of Americans
The numbers are astonishing
Nearly 18.6 million people across the globe died of cardiovascular disease in 2019. That is a 17.1% increase over the past decade. 523.2 million cases of cardiovascular disease were reported in 2019, a 26.6 increase over 2010.
Know the symptoms
- Chest discomfort
- Pain in arms, neck, jaw, or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking out in a cold sweat, sudden severe nausea or lightheadedness
Don't wait for care
Awareness is especially important this year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have delayed or avoided going to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes, resulting in poorer outcomes. Remember: a hospital is the safest place to go when you are having symptoms.
Heart Disease Prevention
During the pandemic, more people are engaging in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as eating poorly, drinking more alcohol and limiting physical activity. These all contribute to heart disease. This makes it even more important to see your cardiologist for good medical management and prevention this year.
During American Heart Month, and every month, remember to take care of yourself. While you can't control your genetics, you can make healthy lifestyle choices to help prevent heart disease, including:
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Controlling blood sugar and cholesterol
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Treating high blood pressure
- Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week
- Getting regular checkups
Dr. Mohamad Saab's Three Tips for Success
Pick a goal that can be attained, such as walking every day for 30 minutes or incorporating a vegetable into every meal, and slowly work it into your routine. Creating habits that last takes time.
Ask for help
There are lots of resources out there to help you understand how to take care of your health. Rely on your healthcare providers and other experts who are ready and able to give you the advice you need.
Don’t give up
It’s impossible to stick to your healthy eating and activity plans 24/7. If you have an off day, that’s OK. There’s always tomorrow.
Resources for Healthy Living
Be sure to always consult reputable resources for healthcare and health management questions. Here are some trusted resources we often rely on: