Happy American Heart month! This month is sponsored by the American Heart Association to get awareness out. Our heart is probably the most important part of our body. We literally cannot live without it, so it's definitely in our best interest to take good care of it.
Each year, approximately 735,000 people have a heart attack and 610,000 people die from heart disease. That means that 1 out of every 4 people will die from heart disease. It doesn't discriminate. Heart disease is the number one killer for Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanic people and number 2 killer for Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the Black community, heart disease accounts for almost 24% of all deaths. Also at risk? Our people that live in the Southeast US, likely because of all that delicious food that us Southerners love so much. Although your heart health may be good, it is important that you know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack as well as the associated risks. Knowing these things may help you save someone you love. Signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:
Chest pain and discomfort
Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw and upper stomach
Shortness of breath
Nausea, lightheartedness, cold sweats
Who is at risk:
People with high blood pressure (hypertension) and/or high cholesterol
People who smoke
People with diabetes,
People who are overweight or obese
People with a poor diet
People who are physically inactive
People who drink alcohol in excess.
Please know that heart disease is NOT a man's disease! While this is a common misconception, the truth is that heart disease is the number one killer of both men AND women. I want you all the have the strongest, healthiest hearts possible so that you can live the longest, most fulfilled lives. That means we all have to take steps to get healthier. What can you do today to keep your heart healthier for your future?
Check out some of the following resources for more information.
Improving our health literacy so that we all may live healthier, more abundant lives