Valentine’s Day happens every February 14th and is often adorned with the overall theme of love. What better month to share awareness about heart disease than February? During this month, we take time to join in the American Heart Month. American Heart Month brings awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it – both at home and in the community.
Heart disease, includes several different conditions that affect the structure or the function of the heart. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with 1 in 4 deaths occurring each year. There is good news in the form of prevention that comes from making healthy choices or managing a condition properly.
What exactly is heart disease?
Heart disease is often called cardiovascular disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease. Here are some of the conditions listed with heart disease:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart muscle disease
- Pericardial disease
- Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
- Vascular disease
Is prevention possible?
There are a few ways to prevent heart disease and live with a healthier heart. These are a few prevention tips recommended by the CDC:
- Visit your doctor and keep track of your health.
- Monitor your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise frequently.
- Avoid smoking or being around cigarette smoke.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- If your have it, manage you diabetes.
- Take prescribed medication if needed.
Link between heart disease and lung disease?
Heart and lung function appear to be intimately intertwined, so that even mild cases of chronic lung disease affect the heart’s ability to pump blood. Pulmonary vascular abnormalities are frequently present in patients with lung disorders, including COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and more. Since the lungs are damaged from disease, the amount of oxygen that goes to the blood is reduced. This produces high blood pressure in the blood vessels from the heart to the lungs, and makes it even more difficult for the heart to pump much-needed blood to the rest of the body. The heart can be impacted by conditions such as pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular disease.