February may be bleak and dreary, but it also signifies a cause that is close to many of us: heart health awareness. Almost all of us can think of someone we know or have heard of who has had a heart condition. Over 600,000 people die every year from a heart-related condition in the US, and it is the second leading cause of death in Canada. What can we do to learn more about heart disease, help spread awareness, and give back to charities that help this cause?

Learning About Heart Disease

Heart diseases affect millions of people each year, and, as stated previously, hundreds of thousands of those people die each year from a heart-related incident. There are quite a few conditions that can cause health issues or death, such as arrhythmia, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart attack. You can read about illnesses of the heart on the American Heart Association’s website and find out if you are at risk of contracting one of these illnesses.

Furthermore, it is important to understand the factors that can bring on a heart diseases. High blood pressure and cholesterol are both factors, but stress, smoking, diabetes, and drug/alcohol abuse are all major factors for an increased risk. Family history, sex, and age are also factors. If you have concerns that you may be at a high risk, talk to your doctor to find out how to live a healthy lifestyle and decrease your risk.

Educating Others

One problem with heart disease is that many people are uneducated about the associated factors and symptoms. Many people are unaware that a heart attack can present itself differently in women than in men, although symptoms are often similar. To help with this problem, familiarize yourself with signs of a heart attack and a stroke and speak to your loved ones about what to do if they feel this way. Both a heart attack and a stroke can turn fatal in mere minutes, so it is important for anyone experiencing symptoms to call 911 and get to a hospital as quickly as possible.

Donating To Fight Heart Disease

Every day, researchers are studying ways to reduce and eliminate heart disease. Many charities are also hoping to spread awareness to high-risk individuals and average people alike. If you are in the US, you can donate to the American Heart Association, while Canadians can donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Your donation may help save someone’s life, and I encourage everyone to donate at least a small amount.

Heart disease can destroy families, and it is extremely prevalent. It may not be completely avoidable, but there are many ways to limit your risk and the risk of your loved ones. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases, and share this information with everyone you know. Your help will make a huge difference in helping to eradicate heart disease.