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  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. American Heart Month

American Heart Month

Release Date: February 7, 2024

During American Heart Month, everyone is encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 805,000 Americans have a heart attack and 695,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. every year, making heart disease a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Heart Disease Risk Factors

Genetics can play a role in your risk of developing high blood pressure, unhealthy blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity which are also key heart disease risk factors. Additionally, lifestyle choices like those listed below can put people at a higher risk for heart disease:

  • Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Tobacco use, and nicotine products
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Drinking too much alcohol

Treatment and Prevention

When it comes to beating heart disease, making healthier choices can lower your risk. Here are some ways to prevent heart disease and to live a healthier and more active lifestyle:

  • Exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week. Remember to consult with your doctor prior to starting an exercise program for approval and recommendations if you have a disability or mobility challenges.
  • Eat healthy foods. Choose items low in sodium, added sugar, and trans fats, and eat a high-fiber diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans.
  • Quit smoking and tobacco productsTalk to your healthcare provider about resources and strategies to you to help you stop using tobacco.
  • Limit alcohol consumptionOnly drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking too much can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, or stroke.
  • Know your numbers. Measure your blood pressure to help your health care team diagnose any heart problems early.
  • Talk about your family health historyKnowing and acting on your family health history is an important way to protect your heart health. Your doctor can use it to develop a more complete picture of your health and your risk factors for heart disease.

Always consult with your physician or health professional before starting any diet or exercise plan. For more information on employee resources, please contact worklife@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 02/08/2024
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