MOUNT STERLING, KY – Each February, we recognize American Heart Month, and CHI Saint Joseph Health is encouraging Kentuckians to prioritize a heart-healthy lifestyle by scheduling annual screenings and making knowledgeable choices at home, which can be lifesaving.
“Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in America,” said Richard Blake, MD, CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Cardiology. “But people can take charge of their heart health by making lifestyle changes and staying up to date on screenings to live a long and healthy life.”
Across the U.S., one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease, according to figures from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Annual screenings are one of the first steps people can take when regaining control of their health and are essential to determining how issues like blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels individually impact them.
“Protecting your heart is critical to staying healthy,” said Dr. Blake. “Eating a heart-healthy diet and staying active are two keys to preventing or managing heart disease.”
Here are a few steps to get on track to better heart health.
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of highly processed snacks since saturated and trans fats can contribute to heart disease. Limit salt and sugar to help control high cholesterol and diabetes. Drink alcohol in moderation to limit risks associated with heart disease; men should have no more than two drinks per day and women no more than one.
Staying active is another crucial aspect of staying heart-healthy. People who are overweight have a higher risk of heart disease because the extra weight can put additional stress on the heart and blood vessels. Healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week; that can include such things as brisk walking, biking, swimming and even mowing the lawn.
Don’t smoke. Smoking can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, heart attack, stroke aneurysms and peripheral artery disease.
Regular screenings can determine your risk level for heart disease. Screenings include blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight and electrocardiogram (ECG). The American Heart Association recommends starting these screenings as early as age 20.
Celebrate American Heart Month by making an appointment with a primary care provider to discuss your heart health. To find a health care provider near you, visit https://www.chisaintjosephhealth.org/find-a-provider/.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory care center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About the CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group
CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group is the employed provider network of CHI Saint Joseph Health with 88 locations in 17 communities throughout central and eastern Kentucky.