February is American Heart Month - a great time to encourage your employees to commit to healthy lifestyle changes that can impact their heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, but the good news is it's also one of the most preventable. According to the CDC, heart disease is attributed to more than 610,000 deaths per year (about one in every four), and 22% of deaths among Pacific Islanders. The American Heart Association estimates these conditions cost the U.S. roughly $555 billion per year in healthcare services, medications, and lost productivity; by 2035, it expects the cost to jump to $1.1 trillion.
Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle. Some things you can do to help prevent heart disease include:
- Know your family heart history
- Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of exercise, and maintain a healthy weight
- Stop smoking and don't drink alcohol in excess
- Have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked annually
- Be compliant with medications for conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes to prevent more serious progression
Proper management of risk factors is importa
in preventing more serious heart complications in the future. Possible complications include heart failure, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, peripheral artery disease, and sudden cardiac arrest. Treatment for heart disease varies and generally includes healthy lifestyle changes, medication, and/or medical procedures or surgery. It is important to speak with your doctor if you think you have heart disease or are concerned about your health risks.