It COULD Happen to YOU!

February is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America among most ethnic/racial groups. In 2018, one in every three deaths in America was caused by cardiovascular disease. On a global scale, it is the leading cause of death and is only expected to grow. Historically, among women and men over the age of 35 in America, incidences of cardiovascular deaths are more prevalent in the South. While there are a lot of resources available and national awareness campaigns (American Heart Month), half of men and two-thirds of women who die from cardiovascular disease have no symptoms. It is important to know the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

Common Risk Factors:

  • Tobacco use
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Genetics (family history of cardiovascular issues)
  • Diabetes
  • Unmanaged stress

Having one or more of these risk factors makes you more likely to experience a cardiovascular episode. It is vital to address these risk factors and discuss them with a health care professional to decrease your likelihood of having a cardiovascular incident.

Lowering Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease:

  • Stop smoking
  • Get up and move – it is recommended that adults get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily
  • Nutrition – eat a diet of good, clean (unprocessed) foods and whole grains to promote heart health
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight – numbers of Americans overweight/obese are rapidly increasing, especially among adolescents
  • Diabetes – get screened for Diabetes and keep blood sugar levels in check
  • High Blood Pressure – discuss risk factors, genetic factors, and possible plans with your health care provider
  • Manage stress – exercise, mindfulness, and yoga are all great ways to lower stress

This month, please make it a point to talk to a medical professional about your health, especially the health of your heart. It is important to not wait until something is wrong to be seen. Preventative measures are the best measures.

Your pharmacist can be a helpful advocate in the fight against heart disease. Speak with your Adams Drugs pharmacist today about an adherence plan, tracking your progress, and any questions you may have about your heart medications. Your pharmacist is one of the most accessible health care providers and their knowledge should be used to benefit you in your fight against heart disease. Pharmacists can also help you in your preventative measures as well. Stop by or call any Adams Drugs location to discuss monitoring your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. We can also discuss your smoking cessation options. We are here to help.

Get out and get involved in activities happening in February in your community. February 1, 2019 is National Wear Red Day. People around the US will wear their red to show support and raise awareness for heart health. Help spread the word and protect the hearts of your loved ones.

Lauren Hanbury, Certified Pharmacy Technician, Adams Drugs

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