February 1, 2014 – Since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February as “American Heart Month” to urge Americans to join the battle against cardiovascular diseases – our nation’s
As a result, the American Heart Association encourages the public to use this special opportunity to focus on ways to build healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke.
About Cardiovascular Disease:
Cardiovascular disease affects one in three adults – an estimated 80.7 million Americans. It kills one American every 37 seconds, or 2,400 people every single day. In fact, cardiovascular disease claims more lives than the next four causes of death combined – cancer, respiratory disease, accidents and diabetes.
The American Heart Association has set an aggressive goal to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by another 20 percent – all by the year 2020.
Also, the association has defined ideal cardiovascular health, introducing an online resource: My Life Check. This resource can be found at www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck. This important tool helps individuals easily identify seven steps to achieving ideal health and notes where each person is on the spectrum. But it doesn’t stop there. It also helps them develop a plan to improve overall health.
The seven steps to ideal cardiovascular health, known as “Life’s Simple Seven”, are as follows:
- Get Active
- Eat Better
- Manage Blood Pressure
- Control Cholesterol
- Reduce Blood Sugar
- Lose Weight
- Stop Smoking
About Heart Attacks and Strokes:
It is important for the public to recognize the signs of heart attacks and strokes. Although the following is a summary, not all of these signs occur in every attack. If an individual notices one or more of these signs, the American Heart Association encourages them to seek medical attention immediately.
Heart Attack Warning Signs:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
- Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
- Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
- Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.
- Loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.
- Sudden, severe headaches with no apparent cause.
- Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.
Ciara O’Brien Murray
Phone: 913-652-1966; 563-599-9557
Tweet This: Feb is #HeartMonth. Focus on your heart-health by taking the My Life Check Assessment. http://mylifecheck.org. @AHAKansasCity