February is American Heart Month — four weeks dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular disease.
According to a recent Harris Poll, more than half of the people in the United States (51 percent) do not know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the country.
Yet, heart disease has been the No. 1 killer for more than a century reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are heredity factors and lifestyle choices that can lead to heart disease including:
- Personal history of heart attack or stroke
- Family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, stroke or diabetes
- Race and ethnicity (non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Native Americans are at increased risk)
- Diets high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol
- Lack of physical activity
- Tobacco and alcohol use
Some of these factors can make your heart older than your actual age – placing you at greater risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Penn Highlands Healthcare offers a free Heart Health Assessment that will help you identify your risk factors so that you can take control of your health and prevent or control cardiovascular disease.
Take the five-minute test at www.phhealthcare.org/heartrisk.
Penn Highlands Healthcare offers specialized heart care — everything from preventive heart health medicine and advanced diagnostic testing to complex heart surgery and cardiac rehabilitation.
To learn more, visit www.phhealthcare.org/service/heart-health.