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Celebrate American Heart Month

from KDHE

February is American Heart Month — a great time to get your patients to take control of their heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Fortunately, it is largely preventable and there are many things people can do to reduce their risk, such as being more active. CDC's Heart Age calculator estimates a person's heart age based on questions about risk factors and compares it to his or her actual age. It's a great way to help adults understand their potential heart disease risk.

Share these key messages with patients:
  • Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
  • Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference. Look for ways to lower sodium and trans fat, and add more fruits and vegetables.
  • Quit tobacco — for good. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) today or start with Tips from Former Smokers.
  • Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for heart disease. Ask your health care team to check your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels.
  • Stick to the "script." Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine. But sticking with your medication routine is important for managing and controlling conditions that could put your heart at risk.
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