February is American Heart Month, a month when health care professionals and those affected by heart disease join forces to increase public awareness of cardiovascular disease and inspire people to take charge of their heart health. Though the risks increase with age, the roots of heart disease can begin as early as childhood. Today, we’re seeing heart attacks strike men and women decades earlier – as young as their 30s and 40s – a byproduct of a more sedentary lifestyle of fast food and TV. High blood pressure remains the #1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease, regardless of age. But the rise also is linked to a corresponding increase in a related trio of ills among younger adults: obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. The good news is that many risk factors are reversible; studies show that people well into their 80s can reduce their chances of dying from heart disease by nearly two-thirds simply by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
In this month’s issue of Health e-Clicks, you’ll find free community education events designed to help you manage risk factors associated with the disease. You can also take advantage of Sarasota Memorial’s $30 Heart Screening, a series of eight non-invasive tests that provide you and your doctor an efficient and cost effective way of assessing and monitoring your cardiovascular health. For information or appointments, call (941) 917-8889 or visit our heart screening webpage: www.smh.com/p.aspx?p=536
You can also view a series of nutrition and heart health education videos produced by Sarasota Memorial staff to help prevent or manage heart disease. Visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SMHCS