February is American Heart Month, a time to evaluate your risk factors for heart disease and to make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In America, one in every 4 deaths is the result of heart disease.
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors. 49% of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a high risk for heart disease, including diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.
Older adults experience a greater rate of heart failure as they age. It is most common in people over 65, and is more common in African-Americans. Also, men have a higher rate of heart failure than women. It is the number one reason for hospitalization for people over age 65. The most common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, feeling extremely exhausted, and welling due to fluid buildup in the body.
This month take time to work on having a healthy heart!
Heart failure tends to be more common in men than in women, but because women usually live longer, the condition affects more women in their 70s and 80s.
The most common symptoms of heart failure include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Feeling extremely exhausted
- Swelling. Swelling is caused by fluid build-up in the body and can lead to weight gain and frequent urination, as well as coughing.
How to Prevent Elderly Heart Failure
Heart failure can happen to almost anyone. It is most common in people over 65, and is more common in African-Americans. Also, men have a higher rate of heart failure than women. It is the number one reason for hospitalization for people over age 65.
Heart failure is caused by other diseases or conditions that damage the heart muscle. It is often caused by coronary artery disease, including heart attacks. Diabetes and high blood pressure also contribute to heart failure risk.