American Heart Month 2022
Published: February 8, 2022
American Heart Month is observed every February to raise awareness about preventing heart disease. Each year, heart disease is the cause of 1 in 4 deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of death in the country. Learning about effective ways to maintain heart health will help lower the risk of developing severe illnesses. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Other risk factors associated with heart disease include high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and excessive alcohol use.
Heart disease is a general term for different types of heart conditions. For example, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease in the United States and occurs when plaque buildup inside of the arteries can partially or totally block the blood flow. When the heart does not receive enough blood, a heart attack can occur. Maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels are essential to promote heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are the top risk factors for heart disease. About half of the people in the United States have at least one of these three risk factors. Furthermore, an unhealthy diet and physical inactivity can also exacerbate the risk of heart disease. As a result, effectively preventing heart disease includes promoting physical activity, education about healthy living, ways to help individuals quit smoking and ways to relieve stress and improve mental health.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy heart, check out the resources and programs at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living. Find out more on https://sph.uth.edu/research/centers/dell/.