February is American Heart Month

by Maj. Asia L. Roberson 86th Medical Group

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease, hypertension and stroke, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The American Heart and Stroke Association states cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Approximately 380 people are affected by some form of cardiovascular disease in our Ramstein community.

Some risk factors for CVD include: hypertension, high blood cholesterol, diabetes and prediabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, having a family history of early heart disease, having a history of preeclampsia during pregnancy, unhealthy diet and age 55 or older for women.

Although some risk factors, such as age and family history, can’t be changed, you can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors are also important for people who already have cardiovascular disease.

Here are some things you can do to lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

For more information, contact the 86 MDG Medical Management Team at 479-2236.