Here’s how to improve your heart health according to local experts

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:40 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- February marks American Heart Month, which is an educational tool and a reminder to give the organ some extra love and care. The Broome County Health Department shared some facts to remember, not just this month, but 365 days a year.

Community Engagement Coordinator Laura Kelly with the Broome County Health Department told 12 News more than 30 million adults are diagnosed with heart disease and around 697,000 die from it every year.

“Making it the leading cause of death in the United States,” said Kelly.

When it comes to the severity of the issue, the added attention in February gives experts a platform to lower the numbers.

“It’s important to raise awareness and provide education to the community so that we can be mindful of our heart health,” said Kelly.

Kelly went over something we have complete control over, which is our use of tobacco products.

“Stay away from all tobacco products,” she said. “This includes traditional cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products, and vaping devices. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and in the United States and it includes about one-third of all deaths from heart disease.”

Kelly said to focus on additional things you can manage, such as aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep, your weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.

“These can all be measured by working with your health care provider,” said Kelly.

When meeting with a provider, make these routine visits.

“It’s important to schedule routine appointments with your health care provider so that you can monitor your risk for heart disease over time,” she said.

The community engagement coordinator went over some talking points to remember, one of which is family history.

“Maybe warning signs that you’re likely to develop heart disease or experience a heart attack or stroke in the future,” said Kelly.

When it comes to some signs that it’s time to consult a doctor, look out for chest discomfort, some upper body discomfort like the neck and jaw, shortness of breath, arm weakness, cold sweats, and more.

To learn more, reach out to the Broome County Health Department’ at 607-778-2847 and visit this website.