February is American Heart Month.
(St. Albans, NY)- Senator Malcolm A. Smith (D- St. Albans) is calling on all New Yorkers to be more proactive about their heart health. February is American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and spreading knowledge about prevention in order to save lives.
“The leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States is heart disease,” said Senator Smith, adding “American Heart Month is an essential component in the fight to inform people about the risks of cardiovascular diseases and what they can do in order to live heart-healthy lives.”
Since 1963, American Heart Month has encouraged participation with organizations like The American Heart Association to raise funds for research and education, to better prepare and inform people about the risks of stroke and heart disease that affects over 785,000 Americans each year. People at a higher risk of heart disease include women over 55 and men over 45, as well as anyone with a family history of heart disease.
Once every forty seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke and once a minute, an American dies of a coronary event. Making simple and healthy lifestyle changes can control and prevent a person’s risk factors for heart disease.
Senator Smith stated that “Making changes for yourself and talking to your loved ones about the risk factors for heart disease is a great first step in combating the growing numbers of effected Americans.” Senator Smith added that participating in local awareness events and donating to worthy causes such as the American Heart Association can help fund research and preventative measures against heart disease.
Heart disease can be prevented. To live a heart healthy life you can:
· Watch your weight and eat healthy.
· Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
· Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
· If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
· Get your heartbeat up every day.
· Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin every day if you are a man over the age of 45 or a woman past menopause.
· Manage your stress and find time to relax.
For more information on how you can live a heart healthy life, visit http://www.heart.org or www.strokeassociation.org. You can also join in on an event in your area by searching on www.goredforwomen.org. To donate to the American Heart Association, please visit https://donate.americanheart.org.
Malcolm A. Smith is the New York State Senate Immediate Past President Pro Tempore (2008-10)