We commonly associate February with Valentine’s Day, but did you know it is American Heart Month, too? If you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, why not give the gift of heart health? This is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle by making small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. And, while all Americans are at a risk of heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease. In addition, 40% of African Americans have high blood pressure, which is also a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
For this reason, during American Heart Month, we want to encourage you to make a change in your health and start new, heart-healthy behaviors to improve your health, while reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Small changes can make all the difference in your health!
A Sleep Apnea Connection
Expanding on the topic of heart health, we also want to point out the connection between sleep apnea and heart disease. Due to low oxygen or the stress of waking up frequently during sleep, many people die in the middle of the night as a result of sleep apnea. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, while stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, and is also a leading cause of disability with high blood pressure being a major risk in both conditions.
Sleep apnea, hypertension and heart disease continue to have a strong connection. Because of this, it is vital that everyone understand how these conditions are connected. Once you understand the importance of these strong connections, you can seek the proper treatment you need.
Make a Change
To not only improve your health, but your heart health, too, here are some helpful tips to follow during the month of February and beyond:
- Schedule a visit with us to talk about the sleep apnea and heart disease connection.
- Talk to your family doctor about your heart health.
- Add exercise to your daily routine (even just 30 minutes a day helps).
- Increase your healthy eating (at least 3 times a week helps).
- Take steps to quit smoking.
- Take medication as prescribed by your doctor.
Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about how you can further protect your heart health by treating sleep apnea.