Steps to help you or your loved one avoid heart disease and stroke

Terry Anderson, RN

There are many habits that can be altered when it comes to maintaining good cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) health. Talking to your healthcare provider about controlling your risk factors for heart disease and stroke is the first step.

Some risk factors that you can help control include: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, lack of physical activity, stress, excessive alcohol intake, illegal drug use, obesity and diabetes. The risk factors we can’t change include: increasing age, gender, race, previous heart attack or stroke, and family history of heart attack or stroke.

The American Heart Association states that 1 in 3 adult Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and that every 25 seconds someone has a heart event. Even scarier is that every minute someone dies from one.

Take charge of your health and make some lifestyle changes to help prevent a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

Terry Anderson, RN, is Vice President Patient Care Services at CHI St Francis Health.

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