Department of Public Health
Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Andover Health Division Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Heart
ANDOVER — As part of National Heart Health Month, which is celebrated by the American Heart Association every February, the Andover Health Division is providing a number of guidelines on maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death among all races in the United States and someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds.
The American Heart Association reports that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women, causing one out of three deaths every year — approximately one woman every minute.
There are a number of different heart conditions that are classified as heart disease, but the most common is coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack. Other heart conditions that can cause heart failure include valve problems and blood pumping issues.
Heart disease is most common among people who are overweight, have a lack of physical activity, have high cholesterol and blood pressure, have bad dietary habits and who smoke. Smoking can double, triple or even quadruple a person’s risk of developing heart disease, according to the CDC.
“While some people are born with heart conditions, many people can avoid issues by practicing a healthy lifestyle,” said Thomas Carbone, Director of Public Health in Andover. “We strongly encourage residents to follow the tips provided to avoid putting themselves at risk for heart disease.”
In order to reduce your risk of heart disease, the CDC recommends the following:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get enough physical activity.
- Do not smoke or use other forms of tobacco.
- Limit your alcohol use.
- Get your cholesterol tested. If you have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol or have a family history of the condition, you may have your cholesterol checked more frequently.
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Remember, high blood pressure usually does not have any symptoms.
- Know your family history and any factors that may increase your risk for heart disease.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar under control.
- If you take medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
The CDC also recommends to watch out for these warning signs of a heart attack:
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, back, arms or shoulders.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea, light headedness, cold sweats, feeling weak or faint.
If you or someone you are with experience these symptoms and you suspect a heart attack, call 911 right away.
The Andover Health Division also encourages residents to see their healthcare provider once a year for a routine physical. Have your healthcare provider assess your risk for heart disease and develop a plan if necessary.
For more information about heart disease, visit the CDC website.