Are you at risk for heart disease?

Feb 1, 2023

PHOENIX – Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and there’s no better time to begin taking control of your heart health than American Heart Month.

Millions of adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the aftereffects of a stroke. The fact that the majority of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease is why educating the community on the importance of heart health is so important.

“Heart disease can lead to severe disability that can absolutely destroy quality of life for its victims and their loved ones,” said Dr. Timothy Byrne, medical director of cardiovascular services at Abrazo Health. “Left unchecked, it can lead to a wide array of serious and life-threatening health complications, including heart failure, heart attack, stroke and death.”

Fortunately, new discoveries are making a positive, measurable impact treating on those with heart disease, and Abrazo Health hospitals are at the forefront of this change.

Breakthrough procedures and research in treating heart valve disease, coronary artery and vascular conditions, atrial fibrillation and more are propelling the treatment of heart disease to a higher level. Medications and other treatments are also helping to keep the estimated 5 million Americans living with heart failure out of the hospital.

Smoking, poor diet, high stress, obesity, diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle are all things that can contribute to heart disease. “The most tragic thing about these issues is that they are not genetic or hereditary – we are often doing these things to ourselves,” said Dr. Byrne.

The greatest strides in the fight against heart disease will come from you.

There are some simple steps you can take to control the effects of heart and cardiovascular conditions or avoid them altogether. Among them: a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, daily exercise, a smoke-free lifestyle and techniques for managing stress. Taking charge of your health in this way not only will help you live longer, but also better.

Heart Month is also a good time to make sure you are up-to-date on your health screenings. Screenings and check-ups that are often covered by insurance can alert you to health conditions that need addressing sooner rather than later, said Dr. Byrne.

For more information or to take a free heart health assessment, click here.

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