When it comes to affairs of the heart, you are never too old or too young to take steps that could change your own or a loved one’s life. About 18.2 million people in the U.S. have coronary heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s not surprising since it is the most common form of heart disease out there. Here in Florida, heart disease accounts for approximately 2 out of 10 deaths (Florida Department of Health). Heart disease and stroke remain the world’s top killers.
That’s why the Boca Grande Health Clinic joins with the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) throughout the month of February to mark American Heart Month by raising awareness about heart health and urging Islanders to reduce their risk for developing heart disease.
Understanding heart disease is a good first step in identifying and managing risk factors. Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. These include:
- Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
- Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
- Heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
- Heart valve disease
- Disease of the heart muscle
- Heart infection
Some of the simplest changes, like staying active, working on your weight and salt intake and quitting smoking can help prevent heart disease.