February is American Heart Month

Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP

Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP
Chief Health Officer

By Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer and Family Physician

February is designated as American Heart Month to spotlight cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease. To help prevent heart disease and increase understanding of its effects, Health Partnership Clinic is proudly participating in American Heart Month. Clinic staff will bring awareness by wearing red on Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 4.

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.

There are many types of heart disease. The most common type is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD occurs when the arteries supplying blood to the heart narrow or harden from the buildup of plaque. This can lead to a decrease in the flow of blood to your heart muscle. CAD can cause chest pain called angina or lead to a heart attack.

National Wear Red DayCertain medical conditions and lifestyle choices can put people at a higher risk of heart disease including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Your risk is increased if:

  • you are a woman over age 55.
  • You are a man over age 45.
  • Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55.
  • Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65.

The good news is that cardiac events are largely preventable with education and lifestyle changes.

There are several things you can do to protect your heart:

  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Engage in physical activity (the recommendation for adults is 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise)
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce blood sugar
  • Stop smoking

For more information about heart disease, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm