It's no secret that heart disease takes a major toll on our country's health. In fact, about 5.1 million Americans are living with chronic heart failure, a progressive condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
As you age, you have a higher risk of contributing to these statistics. It's important to know that with proper care and management, those living with heart failure can enjoy a full, active life.
Most people that develop heart failure have a pre-existing condition, like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or a previous heart attack. If you've been diagnosed with one of these issues, it's critical that you manage it carefully to help prevent the onset of heart failure.
In general, the number one thing you can do to fight back against heart-related health problems is to be aware of the most common risk factors. If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, you may be at a higher risk.
Beating heart disease is a lot easier than you may think. To make the biggest impact on your heart's health, the American Heart Association recommends you practice these 'Simple 7' habits every day:
1. Keep a healthy weight.
2. Eat better and healthier.
3. Get up and get active.
4. Watch your blood pressure.
5. Lower your blood sugar.
6. Kick the smoking habit.
7. Control your cholesterol.
If you've been diagnosed with a heart issue, open communication with your care team is vital. Remember, with proper management, you can live a long and healthy life.
About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US every year. This may be a bit shocking, but the good news is that many heart-related complications and diseases can be treated and prevented. Through good heart-healthy habits, you can help us reduce this number. We're here to help you along the way.
If you'd like to learn more about keeping good heart health, visit heart.org or talk with your doctor during your next visit.