It is hard to believe that a whole year has passed since I last wrote about Heart Month. During that time 935,000 people have had a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association there has been a 30.8% drop in the cardiovascular death rate since 2001. The lower death rate is attributed to medical advances AND lifestyle changes that are lowering heart attack risk. As a side note the death rate related to high blood pressure has increased by 13.2%. 85.6 million people in the U.S. have cardiovascular disease and 32.6% have high blood pressure.
Even though the death rate from cardiovascular disease is lower the number of children developing type 2 diabetes and obesity are increasing. This will result in a jump back to the higher death rates in the future. Let’s do something about this epidemic:
Prevent the development of and control cardiovascular disease by following the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7”:
Exercise 30 minutes a day 3-5 times a week. Break the sessions down to 10-15 minutes 4 to 6 times a week if needed.
Eat healthy, exercise and take cholesterol medications if needed. Don’t replace a healthy lifestyle with medications. They need to work together.
Healthy foods in appropriate serving sizes. It’s not just what you eat it’s also how much.
Weight control and exercise do the most to lower blood pressure. Medications are added if necessary. What is “normal blood pressure” has changed. Individuals under 60 years of age should be less than 130/85. Individuals over 60 should have a blood pressure of less than 150/90.
Healthy eating and exercise will lower your weight. Discuss what your weight should be with your healthcare provider.
Delay or prevent diabetes with weight control, exercise and healthy eating. If you have diabetes keep your blood sugar under control.
Don’t smoke and stop smoking if you presently smoke. The American Heart Association does not recommend e-cigs as an alternative to help stop smoking. The nicotine in the e-cigs still is harmful for your heart like cigarettes.
Since it is heart month and we should all know our cholesterol numbers Mendota Community Hospital is offering Wellness Profiles at a cost of $30.00. This profile includes total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, blood sugar, cardiac risk, weight, body mass index, body fat % and blood pressure. The testing will be done at MCH on February 13th and 14th from 6:00-10:00 AM or 4:00-6:00 PM. Fasting is required for this test. You need to call 815-539-1422 to make an appointment. If you have diabetes or a number of diabetic risk factors MCH is offering HbA1c testing for $20.00. The testing will be done at MCH on February 13th and 14th from 6:00-10:00 AM or 4:00-6:00 PM. Fasting is not required for this test.
MCH also has a Healthy Lifestyle Club that meets the third Thursday of every other month at 1:00 PM in conference room C. We discuss all things healthy and have fun while doing it. The next meeting is March 19th. No registration is required. For more information on the club call 815-539-1411.
Witten by: Tina Fitzgerald BSN, RN, CDE