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Focus on heart health during American Heart Month

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Heart disease remains a leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. The silver lining is that heart disease can be prevented – or better managed – by choosing a healthier lifestyle.

A healthy lifestyle means making positive choices on a daily basis: exercising, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep and managing blood sugars. In addition, it’s important to minimize the negative effects of stress, depression, smoking (and vaping) and alcohol. Focusing on positive choices and minimizing negative influences strengthen the heart and vascular system.

“Talking to your primary care provider about your heart health is a good place to start,” said Dr. Blair MacPhail, Medical Director of Goshen Heart & Vascular Center. “Primary care providers can help by monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and blood sugar – and prescribing any necessary medication. They can also help patients stop smoking and manage stress or depression.”

Goshen Health has resources to help the community. A free support group for people wanting to give up tobacco is offered Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center. Call (574) 364-2587 to find out more. If you need help creating a more balanced diet, nutrition therapy is covered by insurance in some situations. Call Goshen Hospital’s Nutrition Therapy at (574) 364-2679.

In addition to lifestyle factors, family history plays a role in heart disease. Your risk of having a heart or vascular issue is greatly increased if one of your parents or siblings had a heart attack, heart disease or stroke.

With February being American Heart Month, it’s a great reminder to talk to your provider about your heart health. You may be able to prevent a heart problem before it can develop.

Are you a new or existing patient?