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February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and the staff at Senior Solutions and the Caring Workplace would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients and family caregivers of the importance of making heart healthy choices in their daily lives.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Heart Disease includes numerous problems, many of which are related to a process of plaque building up in the walls of the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, it can stop the blood flow. This can cause a heart attack or stroke.

There are other types of heart disease including heart failure, or congestive heart failure, which means heart isn't pumping blood as well as it should. The heart keeps working, but the body's need for blood and oxygen isn't being met. Heart failure can get worse if it's not treated. Arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are various types of arrhythmias. The heart can beat too slow, too fast or irregularly. When this happens the heart may not be able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Heart valve problems are another category of heart disease that generally require treatment as it affects healthy circulation and blood flow.

Fortunately, heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease.

To lower your risk:

Watch your weight.

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

Get active and eat healthy.

See your physician regularly for proactive screenings.

Information obtained from the American Heart Association at www.heart.org. For more information contact your Caring Workplace Eldercare Specialist, Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106, or hspindler@seniorsolutions-stl.com for additional information.