American Heart Month 2015 Infographic
To show our appreciation for American Heart Month and all that it has helped to accomplish over the years, we’d like to share this brand new infographic!
Please click on the image to enlarge:
American Heart Month is a very important awareness event. If we can help change the mind of just one person this year, then the long-term impact can be huge! The tragic truth is that the majority of deaths caused by heart disease, stroke and chronic heart failure could have been prevented. If you are ready to make that commitment and keep your heart healthy, then this is the perfect month to act.
How much do you know about that all important muscle we call the heart? The human heart truly is an incredible machine when it is healthy and strong. Would you be surprised to learn that the heart actually pumps 1,800 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles (that’s right, we said “miles”) of blood vessels each and every day? It’s a truly monumental effort from an organ that weighs on average 8 to 10 ounces.
The Prevalence of Heart Disease in America
Common Risk Factors & Stats
Unfortunately, there are many factors which can undermine the health of your heart. These are things that can and often do lead to the development of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association has identified some of the most common risk factors, including:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- Atherosclerosis (hardened arteries)
- Sedentary lifestyle
The number one killer of both men and women here in the U.S. is heart disease. Here are some heart disease statistics worth noting during February:
- 1 in 3 deaths in this country are caused by some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- An estimated 787,000 deaths annually
- At least 720,000 Americans are expected to suffer a heart attack over the course of 2015
- Heart disease costs this country about $320 billion each year in direct costs and lost earnings
- 15 percent of heart attacks end up being fatal
February really is the perfect month to start incorporating more heart healthy choices in your life. It may seem daunting, but we strongly recommend checking out the American Heart Association’s “Simple 7” to help get started out on the right foot. These 7 lifestyle habits can provide proven benefits to your heart health over the long run:
- Stay physically active on a regular basis
- Maintain a balanced diet healthy foods
- Keep your cholesterol levels in check
- Take steps to manage your blood pressure
- Stay within the healthy weight range for your age and height
- Keep your blood sugar levels in check
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
Heart Attacks: Know the Warning Signs
Before we mentioned how 15 percent of heart attacks can be fatal. That may seem small to you, but that is a significant number. We also mentioned how many CVD related deaths can be prevented and that includes many heart attacks. One way this can be accomplished is by having a firm understanding of the symptoms and acting promptly— i.e. calling 911 and getting to the emergency room.
The thing that many people don’t really understand is that a heart attack is not actually a sudden event— that’s just a common misconception. It’s an unfortunate side effect of how this situation has often been portrayed in films and popular media. The truth is that many start out as a mild discomfort in the chest. Knowing these warning signs can save a life!
The following symptoms could mean serious trouble, so please do not ignore them. Call 911 if you start to experience the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Significant discomfort in the upper body– such as unusual pain in the upper arm
Heart Health Organizations
If you are interested in getting involved and helping your own community celebrate American Heart Month this year, we highly recommend getting in touch with the local chapter of one of the following organizations:
They can help you organize an event or point you to a local event that is already planned. Remember that with a little personal discipline, we are all capable of making a huge difference in this country. A strong heart is a happy heart!