All Posts tagged heart disease

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease? Quiz

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease? Quiz

Did you know that over 1.5 million heart attacks and stroke happen every year in the US? What’s even more startling, one in four women and one in five men who suffer a heart attack will die within a year. While there are some cases of heart attack and heart disease that cannot be prevented, most of the cases in the United States are easily preventable. In fact, by reducing certain risk factors, you can lower your chances of having a heart attack by 80 percent.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States, so it’s important to stay vigilant in the fight against it. Even if you think you are moderately healthy, your heart could still be in danger. Many people who suffer heart attacks have no prior signs or symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to do all you can to lower your risk factors.

Even if you only have one risk factor, it is still important to talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend changes in diet, exercise, or other lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the chances of you having a heart attack.

To see precisely how many risk factors for heart disease you have, take our quiz below. 

Are you at risk for heart disease?

About 610,000 people die of heart disease every year in the United States, accounting for one in four deaths. Take this test to see if you are at risk for the disease.

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Today is Wear Red Day!

Today is Wear Red Day!

All across the United States, heart-conscious people are wearing the color red. Why? It’s a part of the Go Red For Women campaign to raise awareness about heart disease!

It started over 10 years ago when a startling fact was realized – more women die from heart disease than men. In fact, one in three women die each year from heart disease or stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Here are a few more facts for you to review. If you’d like to learn more on how to keep your heart healthy, how to determine your risk of developing heart problems, and how to prevent strokes, then please visit the National Wear Red Day website!

FACT 1: Cardiovascular diseases cause one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

  • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • 80% of heart disease and stroke events could be prevented.

FACT 2: Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease & stroke.

  • Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack
  • The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.
  • Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
  • Each year, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

FACT 3: Heart disease and stroke affect women of all ethnicities.

  • Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death for African-American women, killing nearly 50,000 annually.
  • Only 43% of African American women and 44% of Hispanic women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk, compared with 60% of Caucasian women.
  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 48.9% have cardiovascular disease. Yet, only 20% believe they are at risk.
  • Only 50% of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.
  • Only 3 in 10 Hispanic women say they have been informed that they are at a higher risk.
  • Only 1 in 4 Hispanic women is aware of treatment options.

FACT 4: When you get involved in supporting Go Red For Women by advocating, fundraising and sharing your story, more lives are saved.

  • Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day
  • Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

National High Blood Pressure Education Month Quiz

National High Blood Pressure Education Month Quiz

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a real threat, affecting about one in three Americans. It has become such a widespread epidemic that it is almost commonplace. People quickly forget that it greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, over 360,000 deaths occurred in 2010 with high blood pressure as the primary or contributing cause.

That equates to 1,000 deaths each day.

It is important to monitor your blood pressure to make certain that it does not creep into the hypertension range. Many people are genetically disposed to high blood pressure and won’t be able to prevent it from happening. However, for most people, changing your diet and exercising regularly can lower your risk of developing high blood pressure.

National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Think you know all there is to know about high blood pressure? Test your knowledge and see just how smart you are.

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Should You Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease? FDA Says No

Should You Take Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease? FDA Says No

The FDA is creating controversy by questioning the use of baby aspirin as a preventative measure against heart attack and stroke.

The organization’s opinion first emerged because of a request by Bayer to add a statement to their labels that said that aspirin prevented first heart attacks. The FDA denied this request on May 2, and followed up with a statement on May 5 to explain their decision.

“In fact, there are serious risks associated with the use of aspirin, including increased risk of bleeding in the stomach and brain, in situations where the benefit of aspirin for primary prevention has not been established,” said the FDA.

The organization did concede, however, that the benefits of aspirin are greater than the inherent risks once a person has already suffered a heart attack. This information is already printed on the aspirin bottle.

Many other organizations disagree with the FDA’s viewpoint. The American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association both recommend that people, especially those over the age of 50, should take low doses of aspirin if two or more significant risk factors are present. These risk factors include diabetes, obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure.

Additionally, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends aspirin in men between the ages of 45 to 79 and women between the ages of 55 to 79 when the benefits outweigh the risks.

“I can see how all of this could be confusing for people,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who helped conduct clinical trials on the use of aspirin to prevent heart attacks. “But I don’t think the FDA’s views override the guidelines of these professional medical societies.”

This is a complicated clinical issue, because there are several factors to consider for each unique patient,” echoed Dr. Pedro Cazabon of the Ochsner Health System in New Orleans. “The answer is going to be different for different patients, often contingent on their healthcare risks and goals.”

To get back to the original question, should you take aspirin to prevent heart disease? The answer isn’t really up to you or the FDA. Most professionals agree that it is up to a patient’s health care provider to decide whether or not aspirin will help them to prevent a heart attack or stroke.


Stop Sitting! It Could Be Disabling You!

Sitting Leads to Disability

Photo by Akash_Kurdekar

A new study completed by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine showed that the risk of disability in people over 60 increases when they sit too much. For every additional hour spent sitting, the risk of being disabled increases by 50 percent! In fact, sitting has been linked to heart failure, type 2 diabetes, death from cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

But before you get too worried, remember that this is an easy problem to fix. Simply get up and get moving! If everyone in the country spent three fewer hours a day sitting, the national life expectancy would be increased by two whole years. Experts recommend to get up at least once an hour for 10 minutes to keep your blood flowing. There are some easy changes you can make that will not dramatically alter your lifestyle:

  • If you are watching TV, get up and walk around the house when a commercial comes on.
  • When you are working in front of a computer, get up and walk around every hour.
  • When you go to grocery store or mall, park in a space that is far away.
  • When you get up to have glass of water or for a meal, walk around the house or office.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you are able.
  • Walk to the mailbox every morning to collect the mail.
  • Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog.
  • Join a mall-walkers club.
  • If you have a treadmill, walk on it while you watch TV or read the newspaper.

Just a Little Heart Attack

Heart attacks can strike the old, young, overweight, and skinny – they don’t discriminate. They are a deadly condition that can strike without notice, even in seemingly healthy adults. The biggest risk factors for heart attacks include high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure, but sometimes these factors won’t be caught before an attack happens.

Watch this humorous video to learn more about the symptoms of heart attacks.


National Wear Red Day Draws Near

February is American Heart Month, which means it is time to spread awareness about the issues of heart diseases as well as how to maintain heart health.

Gallagher Home Health Services is doing its part in the struggle for heart health awareness by wearing red this Friday, February 7. This is the official National Wear Red Day, sponsored by the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women campaign.


Heart disease is by far the number one killer of women in the United States. It has killed even more women than men, with nearly 1,100 women succumbing each day.

Luckily, awareness efforts have made great strides. Since the first National Wear Red Day in 2003, 34 percent fewer women now die from heart disease, which adds up to 330 lives each day. 23 percent more Americans now realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women. Additionally, many women have lost weight, monitored their cholesterol, exercised more, and improved their diets – all thanks to these awareness efforts.

Contributing to awareness is easy – simply remember to spread the word and wear red this Friday!