February is American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news is heart disease can often be prevented. If people make healthy choices and manage their health issues this can be reduced, or even eliminated as a factor.
Small changes can make a big difference-
Some of the ways to keep your heart healthy are:
• Avoid smoking and using tobacco products
• Be physically active every day-even 15 min a day of walking 3x a week will help then increase from there.
• Eat a healthy diet-high in fresh fruits & vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat
• Keep a healthy weight
• Keep your blood pressure healthy
• Keep your total cholesterol healthy
• Keep your blood sugar healthy
• Follow up with your primary care physician for regular visits
• Learn CPR
Common Risk Factors for Heart Disease-
Age: Heart disease can occur at any age. However 4 out of 5 people who die from coronary heart disease are aged 65 or older. The risk of stroke doubles with each decade after the age of 55.
Gender: Men & Women are equally at risk, but women tend to get coronary artery disease an average 10 years later than men. The risk for women increases as they approach menopause and continues to rise as they get older.
Family History: Presence of heart disease in a parent or sibling, especially at a young age, increases your risk of developing heart disease.
Smoking: Smokers are twice as likely to suffer heart attacks as non-smokers, and they are more likely to die as a result. Smoking has also been linked to increased risk of stroke. Women who smoke and take the oral contraceptive pill are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke.
High Blood Pressure: High Blood Pressure (over 140/90 and over 130/80 in diabetics) increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and kidney damage. When combined with obesity, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes, the risk increases several times.
Obesity: People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke, even if they have none of the other risk factors. Excess weight causes extra strain on the heart, influences blood pressure, cholesterol and increases the risk of diabetes.
Diabetes: The condition seriously increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, even if glucose levels are under control.
Stress, Depression, Anger/Hostility: Stress, depression, and negative emotion have also been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease is a wide variety of diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as coronary artery disease (CAD), heart rhythm disorders called arrhythmias and defects of the heart present at birth also called congenital heart defects. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a condition in which plaque, which is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the blood builds up inside the coronary arteries which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. The plaque buildup is called atherosclerosis. The plaque buildup can grow large enough to completely block blood flow through an artery, or plaque can break off and cause a blood clot to form and block off the artery or travel to another part of the body causing a blockage. This can be very dangerous and deadly if not caught soon enough.
Heart Attack Symptoms:
Heart attack symptoms vary from person to person. Approximately 2 out of 3 people who have heart attacks experience chest pain, S.O.B, or fatigue a few days or weeks before the attack. A person with angina (temporary chest pain) may begin to find that it takes less and less physical activity to trigger the pain. During a heart attack, a person may feel pain in the middle of the chest which can spread to the back, neck, jaw or arm. Sometimes the person is just having gas like pain or pressure in the stomach area. This is often mistaken as angina. Patients may also experience: lightheadedness, dizziness, S. O. B, sweaty, restless, anxiety, sense of impending doom, bluish lips, hands/feet, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness, disorientation. If you think someone in your presence is experiencing these symptoms call 911 immediately. Every minute you delay can result in more damage to the heart muscle.
Marcellus Family Medicine is currently out of the flu shot for the 2018-2019 season. Please go to your closest pharmacy to get one today. Please call the office today at 315-673-9926 if you have any concerns.
Children entering grades pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 & 11 will need a physical for school. This was changed effective for the 2018/2019 school year so please take note and call the office as soon as possible to get the physicals scheduled today
Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. We are here for your healthcare needs.
Also, children ages 11yrs old will need an updated Adacel (tetanus), Entering 6/7th grade & 12th grade will need Menactra (meningitis) immunization