February is American Heart Month and a time to focus on understanding risk factors for heart disease, learning about cardiovascular health, and understanding that heart diseases are largely preventable.
How can heart disease risk be reduced?
- Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease so it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes also increases risk of heart disease.
- Get cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked.
- Quit Smoking or don't start smoking!
- Make healthy food choices
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress
An example of some of these risk reduction measures in action: during a blood pressure awareness initiative at a site, the MMC clinician on-site noticed one of the participants had hypertension with an irregular pulse and strongly recommended he follow up with his primary care provider. The participant ended up having further testing and medication adjustment that resulted in a new diagnosis of Atrial fibrillation (A-fib). Knowing his numbers, the patient was able to get his diagnosis under control and take preventative measures for future issues.
Here are some additional ways MMC is observing Heart Month on construction sites across the country:
- Observing National Wear Red Day
- Encouraging sharing participation on social media #WearRedDay
- Providing weekly toolbox talks on heart health-related topics
- Women's Heart Disease Awareness
- Knowing Your Numbers
- Stroke Awareness
- Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack
- Giving away red dress pins at all clinics as well as raffles for a blood pressure reader.
- Hosting events with blood pressure checks and cholesterol readings
- Providing additional educational brochures.
Taking care of heart health has never been more important and there is a lot to be done to raise awareness!
Center for Disease Control - American Heart Month Toolkits
National Institute on Health - February is American Heart Month