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#WellnessWednesday – February is Heart Health Month!

01/31/2018 Written by: Megan DiMartino

Tomorrow (already!) begins the second month of 2018, but is also the kickoff to Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the U.S., but is also one of the most preventable diseases by making healthy choices and managing health conditions.
Here are some statistics to give an idea of the annual effects of heart disease:

  • Heart disease claims approximately 1 million lives annually.
  • Heart disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing nearly 380,000 people annually.
  • In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds, and every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event.
  • Direct and indirect costs of heart disease total more than $320 billion each year which includes health expenditures and lost productivity.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.
  • Approximately 1 in 31 deaths of women is attributable to breast cancer, whereas 1 in 7.5 female deaths is attributable to coronary heart disease.

How can YOU make a difference during Heart Health Month?

  • Educate yourself, your family and friends, and your community about the strategies to prevent heart disease and encourage them to have their hearts checked and commit to a heart-healthy lifestyle. For example:
    • Encourage friends and family to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
    • Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
    • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
  • Register for heart disease events and fundraisers in your community to not only provide more awareness on this silent killer, but to raise money for heart disease foundations to help support heart research.
  • And join us this Friday, February 2, and wear RED on National Wear Red Day to increase awareness of heart disease. Post photos of you, your family, your friends and your coworkers wearing red on social media with the hashtag #WearRedandGive to support the Go Red For Women movement, which provides educational programs to increase women’s awareness about their risk for heart disease and stroke as well as critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

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