February is not only famous for Valentine’s Day, but it also celebrates American Heart Month: an optimal time to teach ourselves about heart health. With this month, we hope that many people not only make a commitment to their loved ones, but also teach themselves how to maintain a healthy heart.

This month, remind people to raise awareness about heart disease among their family, friends, and communities:

  • Heart / cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects nearly half of American adults, accounting for 840,678 deaths in the U.S. in 2016: approximately 1 of every 3.
  • CVD claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer and chronic respiratory disease combined.
  • CVD is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.6 million deaths per year in 2016: a number expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to a 2014 study.

Because of this, it is critical to remain aware of all the facts and symptoms that can contribute to heart disease. Moreover, knowledge surrounding prevention measures is equally important: as it is key in maintaining a high-quality life throughout the aging process.

Facts About Heart Diseases:

Coronary Heart Disease

  • In 2016, coronary heart disease (CHD) was the leading cause (43.2%) of death attributable to cardiovascular disease. CHD occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart is blocked, putting excess strain on the muscle. If left unattended, CHD can lead to angina, heart attack, and heart failure.

Stroke:

  • Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds on average.
  • In 2016, strokes accounted for approximately 1 of every 19 deaths in the U.S.
  • In 2016, on average, someone died of a stroke every 3 minutes and 42 seconds.
  • When considered separately from other cardiovascular diseases, stroke ranks #5 among all causes of death in the U.SS, killing approximately 142,000 people a year.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

  • In 2016, any-mention sudden cardiac arrest mortality in the U.S. was 366,494.
  • According to data access in 2017, most of the Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occur at a home or residence (69.5 %). Public settings (18.8%) and nursing homes (11.7 %) were the second and third most common locations of OHCA.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack:

  • Breathlessness
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain; pain in one or both arms
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Heartburn

Prevention Measures:

  • Quit smoking
  • Stay physically active
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Take care of body weight
  • Control your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Manage stress

We hope that everyone takes care of their heart health. We wish you all a happy and healthy Valentine’s Day!