February Is American Heart Month
Perhaps chose because Valentine's Day falls within it, February is appropriately National Heart Month in America.
Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to a heart attack. In Wisconsin, Heart Disease is the number one cause of death. In 2007, the most current year with data available, there were more than 87,000 hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease in Wisconsin, accounting for approximately $2.8 billion in hospital-related expenditures. CAD accounted for about 32% (14,836) of all deaths (46,117) in Wisconsin. This includes 6,824 deaths due to coronary heart disease, 1,419 to congestive heart failure and 2,632 to stroke.
These are sobering numbers, but you can greatly reduce your risk for CAD through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medication. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.
• Watch your weight.
• Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
• Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
• If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
• Get active and eat healthy.
• Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin every day if you are a man over the age of 45
• Manage stress.
Men and Heart Disease: Quick Facts
- In 2007, heart disease was the cause of death in 309,821 American men.
- The average age for a first heart attack for men is 66 years.
- Almost half of men who have a heart attack under age 65 die within 8 years.
- Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.