Affinity Celebrates American Heart Month

February 1, 2012 by Molly Huff

Each February, The American Heart Association sponsors American Heart Month.  This is a time each year to educate Americans on what we can do to live heart-healthy lives and to come together to battle cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.  The term "heart disease" is a simple term that is used to describe several health problems related to the build up of plaque in the walls of the arteries.  When the plaque builds up, the arteries become narrow and make it more difficult for blood to flow.  This creates risk for heart attack or stroke.

There are other types of heart disease that include heart failure, irregular heartbeat (knows as arrhythmia) and heart valve problems. 

Women 55 and older and men 45 and older are at higher risk for heart disease, and a family history of early heart disease also can put you in the high risk categories.

There are certainly ways to help prevent heart disease.  Some of the ways to keep your heart healthy are to:

  • Watch your weight
  • Don't smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • If you do drink alcohol, drink in moderation
  • Get active and eat healthy
  • Talk to your physician about taking aspirin every day if you are a woman over 55 or a man over 45
    Manage stress

There are many ways to get involved in the fight against heart disease.  February 3rd is the annual Go Red for Women day - on this day, wear red to show support for the fight against heart disease which is the number one killer of women.  This is a link to the American Heart Association offices in the state of Georgia. 

As always, donating your time, energy, monetary gifts and blood are important ways to join the fight against heart disease.  Click here to find out how you can get involved.

If you would like to be sure your heart is as healthy as possible, make an appointment with one of Affinity Health's family practice physicians, internists or our cardiologist.  We can help get you on track to a healthy heart.

Do everything you can to fight heart disease - for yourself and for the ones you love.