Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 4 deaths in the country. The good news is that heart disease and stroke can be prevented, and February - American Heart Month - is a great time to refresh your memory on the small but important actions you can take.
Talk to your health care provider and team to see if taking an aspirin each day is right for you.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. One in three American adults has high blood pressure - that's about 70 million people. Unfortunately, less than half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. Work with your health care team to find out if you have high blood pressure. If you do, take steps to reduce it:
Get active by exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Eat a heart-healthy diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol.
Follow your health care provider's instructions when it comes to taking medicines or measuring your blood pressure at home.
High cholesterol affects 1 in 3 American adults. Getting a simple blood test is the only way you can know if you have high cholesterol. Your doctor can suggest steps you can take to prevent high cholesterol or to reduce your levels if they are high.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk of heart disease. If you're a smoker, quit as soon as possible, and if you don't smoke, don't start. Get help from 1-800-QUIT-NOW or SmokeFree.gov.
Learn more about Million Hearts and ways to protect your heart during February and throughout the year at MillionHearts.hss.gov