Each February, American Heart Month aims to increase awareness of our country’s top killer: heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Onyx Home Care is proudly participating in American Heart Month.

Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The CDC says that half of all Americans have at least one of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking). The good news is that it can often be prevented through healthy choices and managing health conditions. Early medical intervention, lifestyle changes, and health education can prevent many deaths.

According to healthfinder.gov, 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.

Remember, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart! Obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating patterns can all contribute to your risk of heart disease. You cannot change things like your age or family history, but you can make modest changes that can drastically reduce your risk by as much as 80 percent!

While managing high blood pressure might be challenging for older adults due to other existing health issues, the American Heart Association says many over 65 can treat high blood pressure the same way younger people are when their readings hit 130/80.

Take control today by talking to your doctor and health care professionals about ways you can improve your heart health.