February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to check up on your heart health. Taking care of your heart has never been more important.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. One person dies every 36 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease — that’s 655,000 each year, or 1 in every 4 deaths.
And those grim numbers are only getting worse due to COVID-19. People with poor cardiovascular health are at increased risk of severe heart-related illness from the new virus. Clearly the importance of self-care and maintaining good health has never been greater.
There are many ways you can ward off high blood pressure (hypertension) and other heart-related diseases, including:
• Eating a Healthy Diet
• Keeping Yourself at a Healthy Weight
• Being Physically Active
• Not Smoking
• Limiting Alcohol Intake
• Getting Enough Sleep
• Donating Blood
Check out more tips to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle from the CDC.
Blood donation may help you determine if your heart is healthy. Many prospective donors discovered for the first time they had high blood pressure, low iron or heart arrhythmia during their health screening and then sought medical care.
Some of those who went on to donate found they had cholesterol levels exceeding a combined HDL/LDL of 400. And According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, 88% of blood donors are less likely to suffer a heart attack. This may be partly because donating blood helps blood flow, giving it a lower viscosity (resistance) and thus making it less damaging to blood vessels.
Make February your heart-healthy resolution to take care of yourself, and to become a regular blood donor!