The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

The student news site of Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School

The New Dealer

American Heart Month


Did you know that February is American Heart Month, a time where everyone is encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health? Over the last 30 years, deaths from cardiovascular diseases have been steadily increasing. The month of February, which is American Heart Month, brings awareness to people about the importance of heart health and ways to prevent heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. 

What are cardiovascular diseases? 

Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death globally, with an estimated 17.9 million people dying from cardiovascular related diseases each year. Cardiovascular diseases are conditions that affect the heart or the blood vessels including diseased vessels, blood clots, and structural problems. Some common types of cardiovascular disease include:          

  • Coronary artery disease

Coronary artery disease is when there is damage or disease in the heart’s major blood vessels. It is caused by plaque buildup in the wall of the arteries, which limits the blood flow to the heart. 

  • High blood pressure

A condition that happens when your blood pressure, the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high.

  • Cardiac arrest

A sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness in a person.

  • Congestive heart failure

A chronic condition in which the heart doesn’t pump blood as effectively as it should to keep up with the body’s needs.

  • Arrhythmia

Improper beating of the heart -when the heart is beating too fast or too slow.

  • Peripheral artery disease

A circulatory condition in which blood flow to the limbs is reduced due to narrow blood vessels. 

  • Stroke

Damage to the brain caused when there is a blockage of blood supply to parts of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. 

What are the leading causes of cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular disease is a major health problem around the world. Some of the factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease are high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Some common lifestyle factors that can also increase the risk of having cardiovascular diseases are a lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet, and smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, other factors such as genetics may also play a role in having cardiovascular diseases, for example having a family member or close blood relative with heart disease makes it more likely for you to get heart disease. All these factors can contribute to an increased risk of a person having cardiovascular disease; however, it is not something that can’t be prevented. 

What are some ways to protect yourself against heart disease? 

American Heart Month is a time where people are encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular diseases and protect their heart health. One of the best ways to prevent heart disease is by having a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle can include being physically active, having a healthy diet, and managing your stress. Being physically active every day for an hour or even 30 minutes can help lower your blood pressure, strengthen your heart and improve your blood circulation. This can help reduce your risk of heart diseases, such as having high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Having a healthy diet is another way to prevent heart disease, as it helps reduce your cholesterol and your chances of developing coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Having a healthy diet can include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, nuts and poultry. In addition, managing your stress can also help reduce chances of heart disease as stress can increase cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These are some of the common risk factors of heart disease. Aside from managing your stress, having a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet, some additional ways that can help reduce the chances of heart disease or other cardiovascular diseases may include quitting smoking, getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol, managing your weight, and monitoring your overall health. 

Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases are serious health problems and although there are no cures for them, there are treatments that can help with the symptoms and ways to reduce the chances of getting them. 

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