Heart Disease Facts

February is Heart Health Month! Love your heart and take charge of your heart health.

Spreading awareness about heart health can help save lives! Did you know that heart disease can happen at any age? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life. Risk factors and other conditions and behaviors for heart disease include:

  • High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure most often has no symptoms. Having uncontrolled blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease, heart attacks, and can cause other health conditions such as stroke.
  • High Cholesterol: Your body needs some cholesterol in your blood to build healthy cells. However, high cholesterol can cause heart disease. Diabetes, obesity, smoking, unhealthy eating, and lack of physical activity can all cause high cholesterol.
  • Smoking: Smoking increases the formation of plaque in your blood vessels, which restricts blood flow. Chemicals in second-hand smoke cause the blood to thicken, which can result in clots. Quit smoking and prevent many other chronic disorders in addition to heart disease risks. There are lots of resources to help you meet this goal.
  • Obesity: Being overweight requires more blood to supply oxygen and nutrients to your body which increases blood pressure which increases heart attack risks.
  • Diabetes: High glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. “Silent” heart attacks occur because of nerve damage, and you may not know you’re suffering from a heart attack. Many people with diabetes die from heart-related issues.
  • Physical Inactivity: It is recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. Only 1 in 4 Americans meet this guideline.
  • Unhealthy Eating Patterns: Diets high in trans fat, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium all increase the risk factor for heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. The good news is that it is also one of the most preventable. Take control of your life and heart health by changing your ways.