February is Heart Health Month. This was started to raise awareness of Heart Disease in both men and women. Heart disease is known as “the silent killer” and adults need to be more aware of the causes, signs and symptoms, and how to prevent heart disease. You may ask why a dentist would be talking about Heart Health Month. There is a strong relation between oral health and heart health. Taking care of your teeth and having good dental hygiene can impact hearth health by reducing your chance of having a heart attack or stroke by 50%.
What is Heart Disease? Heart disease is any condition of the heart that impairs its functioning. Heart disease also goes hand in hand with cardiovascular disease, which generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
*Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined.
*Heart disease is the #1 killer of men AND women.
*Heart disease takes a life every 33 seconds.
*Heart disease kills over 1 million people every year.
*1/3 of all adults are living with some type of heart disease
*The peak time for heart attacks is 8-9 a.m., and especially on Mondays.
*$444 Billion-What heart disease costs U.S. in 1 year (healthcare, medication, lost production).
*Up to 80% of Heart disease is PREVENTABLE.
There are two main ways to prevent heart disease:
Start Moving-Heart Disease doubles in an inactive person vs. those that get regular exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity OR 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week; AND muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days per week. Download a printable PDF here of the AHA physical recommendations for adults.
Eat “Heart Smart” by following the AHA diet recommendations of a healthy diet emphasizing:
*A variety of fruits and vegetables.
*Low-fat dairy products.
*Skinless poultry and fish.
*Nuts and Legumes.
*Non-tropical vegetable oils.
*AHA also recommends limiting saturated fat, trans-fat, sodium, red meats, and sweets.