Heart Disease Prevention

Our beloved custodian Amado Martinez was at work at St. Timothy on October 13, 2023. Later that day he passed away suddenly and far too young of coronary heart disease at age 42. He left behind his beautiful wife Sylvia, and their 3 wonderful children.

Heart disease strikes the young and old and can be swift in nature. Roughly 50% of men and 64% of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Heart disease continues to be the # 1 cause of death in the United States according to the 2021 update. Heart disease and stroke claim more lives each year in the United States than all forms of cancer.

February is known as American Heart Month with the focus being on prevention and reducing one’s risk of heart disease, and also living successfully after being diagnosed with heart disease. The American Heart Association estimates up to 90% of cardiovascular disease may be preventable with education and action. It is important to know your risk and manage or eliminate your risk when appropriate.

Alterable risk factors:

  • Hypertension (High blood pressure)
  • Unhealthy blood cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Non alterable risk factors:

  • Age/Gender/Race
  • Family history:
  • Personal history of heart or stroke events

Associated behaviors increase the risk of heart disease:

  • Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol
  • Not getting enough physical activity
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Tobacco use
  • Ineffective sleep

Lastly, mental health disorders: anxiety, depression, and chronic stress. People experiencing a mental health disorder may have fewer healthy coping strategies for stressful situations making it more challenging to make and maintain healthy lifestyle choices.

This month I will be highlighting evidenced based prevention steps to lower your risk of heart disease by changing those factors you can control.

More information to come about a FEBRUARY THED talk on the topic of Heart Disease Prevention. Susie Merrihew, MSW, LCSW and I invite you to attend this important event.

In Wholeness of Health,

Jana Tindall RN, BSN
Faith Community Nurse
Health and Wellness Coordinator