American Heart Month

American Heart Month

By Nicholas Persaud

February is the month dedicated to the heart in more ways than one. Most people know about Valentine’s day but they probably don’t know that the month of February is American Heart Month. Heart health is an extremely important issue worldwide. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The number of reported deaths from heart disease are greater than deaths caused by cancer in the United States. Heart disease is not something to be taken lightly.

Heart disease is a very broad term and many diseases fall under that category. Many heart complications such as strokes, heart attacks, and chest pain result from clogged or narrow blood vessels. When blood vessels are clogged they are clogged by a substance called plaque. Plaque is a substance which consists of cholesterol and fatty products. The buildup of plaque in the bloodstream prevents blood from flowing efficiently throughout the body. This can result in a lack of essential nutrients such as oxygen to essential parts of the body such as the brain. Other heart diseases affect cardiac muscles which can hinder the heart’s ability to pump blood. Overall, there are many different diseases of the heart and they all have very serious consequences. However, heart disease is something that can be prevented by simply making a choice.

The choices people make in their everyday lives play a major role in whether or not they develop heart disease. One of the most obvious life choices that affects heart health is a person’s diet. A healthy diet is not just important for heart health but for the an individual’s health overall. Consumption of food with high concentrations of fat, salt, and sugar is a major risk factor for heart disease. It’s important to limit the intake of the these kinds of foods because the effects build up over time. Another life choice that causes heart problems is smoking. Smoking has been proven to be injurious to one’s health so it’s not surprising that it can lead to heart disease. Smoking can damage the arteries and promotes the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Choosing not to smoke or choosing to quit smoking can reduce the likelihood of heart disease immensely. Exercise is another important factor than can significantly reduce the chance of getting heart disease. Workout routines don’t have to be extremely intense but a few hours of exercise every week can seriously improve someone’s health. Even though there are many ways to prevent heart disease, many people are still diagnosed with some form of heart disease.

There are many treatments for heart disease. Physicians may prescribe medication to patients but the majority of treatments are invasive medical procedures. Surgeries such as angioplasty, heart bypass surgery, and valve disease treatment involve the cutting of clogged vessels. Some people may require pacemakers that are implanted through surgery and help regulate their heartbeat. If necessary, a person can get a heart transplant in which their heart is replaced with a healthy heart. Thanks to all of these treatments, people with heart diseases have hope. However, even with these advanced treatments heart diseases still takes more lives than any other disease in the United States. It is important to do our best to prevent heart disease because there is a high price to pay otherwise.



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