February is recognized as American Heart Month, a time in which we spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives.

Did you know the Healthy Connections Community Health Network offers cardiology and cardiovascular disease treatment in both Mena and Hot Springs? Visit www.healthy-connections.org/heart for more information.

Friday, February 5, 2021, is designated as National Wear Red Day as part of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative. For information on this event, visit www.goredforwomen.org.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. In most years, 1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. The good news is that heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, including those at Healthy Connections, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have delated or avoided going to hospitals for heart attacks and strokes – netting poorer outcomes and prompting the AHA to create “Don’t Die of Doubt,” a national awareness campaign that reminds people that hospitals are the safest place to go when you have symptoms.

Also during the pandemic, more people have engaged in unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as poor eating, drinking more alcohol, and limiting physical activity. These factors can contribute to heart disease.

Heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2021 update. The report a 17.1 increase and a 26.6 percent increase in cardiovascular disease over the past decade.

In most cases, heart disease is preventable when people adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, and getting regular checkups.

If you have questions about your heart, please make an appointment at our cardiology clinics in Mena or Hot Springs by calling 888-710-8220. Learn more at www.healthy-connections.org/heart.