- The American Heart Association estimates a death from heart disease happens every 90 seconds.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
- About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths.
- Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.
Plan for Prevention
Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. You can help prevent heart disease by making healthy choices and managing any medical conditions you may have.
- Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—adults should have at least 5 servings each day. Eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet also can lower your blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for heart disease. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate a number called the body mass index (BMI).
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Adults should engage in moderate-intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis. You can check your blood pressure at home, at a pharmacy, or at a doctor’s office.
- Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
- Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can increase your blood pressure.
- Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every 5 years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.
- Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely, and talk with your doctor about treatment options.
- Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something.
This month also reminds us how important health and life insurance are. Both can really help if you find yourself in a tough spot. Health insurance helps us pay for doctor and hospital visits. And life insurance protects the people that we love and care about if something should happen to us.
For more information on this topic or to discuss your insurance needs, please contact us at 888.304.6678 or visit our virtual insurance office.