Heart disease is responsible for 1 out of 4 deaths in the country. But the good news is that heart disease and stroke can be prevented, and February (American Heart Month) is a great time to refresh your memory on the small but important actions you can take to protect yourself. Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ABCS of heart health:
1. Consider Aspirin.
Did you know that aspirin therapy reduces the clumping action of platelets — possibly preventing a heart attack? Talk to your provider about the benefits and risks of daily aspirin.
2. Control High Blood Pressure.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke, so find out if you have it. If you do, take steps to reduce it with monitoring, doctor-recommended exercise and a heart-healthy diet.
3. Manage High Cholesterol.
Ask your doctor to check your cholesterol levels with a blood test, and inquire about ways to prevent or reduce high cholesterol.
4. Stop Smoking.
In addition to numerous other health problems, cigarette smoking also greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you’re a smoker, quit as soon as possible; you don’t smoke, don’t start. Get help from 800-QUIT-NOW or Smokefree.gov.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services