February is American Heart Health Month!

Jan 30 , 2024

Virginia Nuzum-Hayes

February is American Heart Health Month!

The American Heart Association (AHA), the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization is celebrating 100 years in 2024 as an organization to bring awareness and progress in the fight against heart disease. Despite a century of educating the American public about the risk and seriousness of this silent killer, more than half of Americans are still unaware that Cardiovascular Disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States (Harris Poll Survey, Nov. 2023). 18% of respondents listed cancer as the leading cause of death of people in the U.S. However, since 1921, heart disease has been the #1 killer of Americans every single year. Heart disease, along with stroke, which is the 5th leading cause of death, claimed more lives in 2021 than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined in the U.S.(according to the CDC). Every February is American Heart Health Awareness Month to promote awareness within communities of the risk factors related to cardiovascular disease.

Knowledge is the key to combating this oftentimes silent killer. Knowing your numbers is very important in lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and your risk for heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure is the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Maintaining normal blood pressure numbers and controlling high blood pressure with proper treatment can greatly reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Maintaining healthy cholesterol (especially LDL-cholesterol) is the next most important risk factor number to be aware of. Health supplements such as Lunasin (a plant-based bioactive peptide complex) has been shown in research to lower LDL cholesterol via histone acetylation and Lunasin supplementation helps maintain healthy LDL cholesterol within normal ranges. Lunasin has also shown strong anti-inflammatory effects within the body in promoting overall cellular health. Lunasin has been researched worldwide for its promising health effects from cancer to heart health and anti-aging benefits. 

One hundred years ago heart disease was considered a death sentence. Now with death rates declining by 60% since 1950, people are living longer and still maintaining productive lives while managing their heart disease and risk factors. Each year in the U.S. there are approximately 605,000 new heart attacks and 200,000 recurrent heart attacks-- of which 170,000 are silent, without significant symptoms. Although the average age for a first heart attack for men is 65 and for women it is 72, many people in their 40s and 50s have heart attacks as well. This is why having an annual physical is so vital in staying healthier, longer. Knowing your numbers and what the healthy ranges are, as well as your family history, heart-healthy eating habits, staying away from cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke, getting proper rest and regular exercise are all important factors in keeping your risk of cardiovascular disease as low as possible.  Visit www.heart.org to read what the American Heart Association does in the country, get educational resources, and you can also sign up for a local annual Heart Walk in your area as a participant or volunteer.