While February is a time to celebrate love, it is also a good time to check in to make sure your heart is healthy. February has been designated as American Heart Month by the American Heart Association (AHA) to raise awareness for heart disease (also called cardiovascular disease). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, so it is important to know your risks and preventative measures you should take.
The CDC refers to the term “heart disease” as an umbrella for several types of heart conditions. According to the CDC, “the most common type is coronary artery disease, which can cause a heart attack. Other kinds of heart disease may involve the valves in the heart, or the heart may not pump well and cause heart failure. Some people are born with heart disease.”
It is important to understand that heart disease does not discriminate – it can happen at any age to any gender. Dr. Pamela Ivey of HealthCare Partners says that in her over 20 years of practicing cardiology, the risk factors for heart disease have not shifted dramatically.