It’s officially the month of all things red, pink, and heart-shaped. While February is Cupid’s busiest time of the year, it’s also American Heart Month.
If you roll your eyes when your mother tells you to “protect your heart” each time Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, hopefully you perk up and listen close if your doctor tells you the same thing.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. Roughly 610,000 people die each year from heart disease. Even though heart disease is often dubbed a “man’s disease,” women are similarly at risk, with heart disease and stroke killing one woman every 80 seconds. (That is a scary statistic.)
Man or woman, your ticker is truly what keeps you going, and everything you do — from what you eat, to how much you exercise — affects it.
Your Heart At a Glance:
- Someone has a heart attack in the United States every 42 seconds.
- Even if you have no symptoms, you still may be at risk for heart disease. (Scary.) That’s why it’s important to get routine checkups.
- Women oftentimes present with different symptoms before a heart attack compared to men and commonly experience pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen or back.
- Between 70-89% of cardiac events occur in men.
- Compared with young men, women under 55 are less likely to have heart attacks.
- Smoking, which is the leading cause of preventative death in the United States, not only affects your lungs, but your heart too. It’s one of the key risk factors for heart disease, along with high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
- Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use can all contribute to heart disease.
The other thing about heart disease? It costs the United States roughly $207 billion each year. (Yes, billion with a “b.”) This total includes the cost of healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity. The good news? There’s something we can do about it. Healthy living habits significantly lower the risk of heart disease and can be just the ticket you need to a healthier heart.
Eighty percent of cardiac and stroke events can be prevented through education and care — but only if it’s affordable and accessible. Join us in fighting against state-based mandates that drive up the cost of healthcare for you and your family. Your hearts and your health will thank you.