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Proactive Heart Health

Stethoscope and heartIn order to live a long life, you must keep your heart in mind. February is American Heart Month, which serves as a reminder of the grave effects heart disease has on us. Each year, heart disease kills more men and women than all forms of cancer combined. Thankfully, there are many ways to be proactive in your health and prevent heart disease.

Major risk factors for heart disease include unhealthy cholesterol levels, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and obesity. It is important to have regular visits with a primary health care provider to monitor these risks and establish an improvement plan if necessary. Your primary care provider will take the time to know your and your family’s health history to target your risks.

Making lifestyle changes is a proven method for reducing your risk of heart disease. While there is no guarantee that a heart-healthy lifestyle will ward off heart disease, certain changes will improve your overall health and significantly reduce your risk. Important changes include: quitting smoking, reducing stress and anger, and exercising consistently. Your primary care provider will have suggestions on how to work toward these lifestyle changes.

If you do not have a primary care provider, please consider calling (319) 369-4444 to find one that is right for you.