Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, killing one in three. This is higher than any cancer, accidents, and diabetes combined. Every 42 seconds in the U.S. someone has a heart attack. These are concerning statistics, but there are simple things each of us can do to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Start by educating yourself on preventative measures, most of which center on practicing a healthy lifestyle. The top five areas for a healthy lifestyle are:
- eat a healthy diet
- maintain a healthy weight
- be active on most days
- don’t smoke or use tobacco
- limit alcohol use
Using these as guideposts for a healthy lifestyle is a great start to reducing the risk of heart disease. Beyond a healthy lifestyle, you can practice the ABCs. No, we’re not talking about the nursery rhyme. We’re referring to the ABCs of heart disease and stroke.
A is for Aspirin
Using aspirin when appropriate, can save your life. Always ask your provider about whether you should be taking aspirin daily.
B is for Blood Pressure
Make sure your blood pressure is at a healthy level. This is critical to managing heart health.
C is for Cholesterol Management
High cholesterol puts you at a greater risk for heart disease and stroke.
S is for Smoking
If you are smoking, quitting is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by two to four times! If you need help with smoking cessation, talk to your provider. They are happy to help.
Just like the ABCs are building blocks of education, the ABCs of heart disease and stroke are the building blocks of prevention. Talk to your provider about ways you can keep your heart healthy.