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Are you at risk for heart disease?

The Nation Goes Red in February

You could be at risk for heart disease

Many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages such as:

High blood pressure.

Millions of Americans of all ages have high blood pressure, including millions of people in their 40s and 50s. About half of people with high blood pressure don’t have it under control. Having uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and other harmful conditions, such as stroke.

High blood cholesterol.

High cholesterol can increase the risk for heart disease. Having diabetes and obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and not getting enough physical activity can all contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels.


More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.

On average, U.S. adults have hearts that are 7 years older than they should be.

Watch this video, and figure out your own “heart age” by taking this quiz.

Other conditions and behaviors that affect your risk for heart disease include:


Carrying extra weight puts stress on the heart. More than 1 in 3 Americans—and nearly 1 in 6 children ages 2 to 19—has obesity.


Diabetes causes sugar to build up in the blood. This can damage blood vessels and nerves that help control the heart muscle. Nearly 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes.

Physical inactivity.

Staying physically active helps keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Only 1 in 5 adults meets the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity.

Unhealthy eating patterns.

Most Americans, including children, eat too much sodium (salt), which increases blood pressure. Replacing foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure. But only 1 in 10 adults is getting enough fruits and vegetables each day. Diet high in trans-fat and added sugar increases the risk factor for heart disease.


February is Heart Month


4 Ways to Take Control of Your Heart Health

You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart healthy at any age.

Don’t smoke.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn how to quit.

Manage conditions.

Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medicines you have been prescribed. Learn more about preventing and managing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Make heart-healthy eating changes.

Increase your fish consumption (such as salmon and sardines) and/or take a high quality fish oil supplement available in our office. Chia seeds, hemp hearts, and flax seeds (and flax seed meal) are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and are heart and brain healthy as well. Eat food low in trans-fat, added sugar and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables, and aim for low sodium options. Learn more about how to reduce sodium.

heart health graphic


A heart healthy recipe for February!

Grilled Salmon with Tomato - Avocado Salsa


1 cubed avocado

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 chopped red or green pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons sliced shallot

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillet


1. Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°F). Combine avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, pepper, and shallot in a medium bowl. Whisk together lime

juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; drizzle over avocado mixture, and stir to coat.

2. Brush olive oil on both sides of salmon; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3. Place salmon, skin side down, on grill; cook, flipping once, until salmon is opaque and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve salmon topped with salsa.

Stay active.

Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week. You can even break up the 30 minutes into 10-minute blocks. Learn more about how to get enough physical activity.


Go Red for Women®

Go Red for Women® is the American Heart Association's global initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women. Launched in 2004 to close the gap in awareness, Go Red quickly expanded into a worldwide movement dedicated to removing the barriers women face to achieving good health and wellbeing.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined. Learn what it means to Go Red For Women to help women like you fight back:


Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol.


Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise, and eat healthy.

It’s up to you. No one can do it for you.


We think it won’t happen to us, but heart disease kills one of three women.


Make healthy food choices for you and your family.

Teach your kids the importance of staying active.


Tell every woman you know that heart disease is our No. 1 killer.

Watch this youtube video from the American Heart Association.

Heart health is obviously important 12 months out of the year, but it's helpful to shine a spotlight on this most important muscle in your body.

I'm happy to help you on your health journey any time of the year.

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