February marks the beginning of American Heart Month, a crucial period dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and the prevalence of heart disease. In the United States and in Arkansas, heart disease stands as the leading cause of death.
Statistics paint a stark picture: every 33 seconds, a life is claimed by cardiovascular disease in the United States. Amidst these concerning trends, initiatives from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) offer targeted interventions to safeguard the heart health of communities across the state.
Among these initiatives is the Community Team-Based Care program, operating within local health units spanning ten Arkansas counties. Focused on adult patients grappling with hypertension, this program prioritizes essential services such as blood pressure monitoring and medication adherence counseling. By fostering closer collaboration between patients and physicians, the program strives to enhance blood pressure control and mitigate the risks associated with hypertension.
Furthermore, the AR WISEWOMAN program extends a lifeline to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women aged 35 to 64 across 12 counties in Arkansas. Through comprehensive screenings and tailored interventions, this initiative empowers women to embrace heart-healthy lifestyles and mitigate their risk of cardiovascular disease. By addressing risk factors head-on and promoting sustainable behavioral changes, the program endeavors to curtail the incidence of heart attacks and strokes among this vulnerable demographic.
To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, ADH recommends you make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease through living a healthy lifestyle. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:
Watch your weight.
Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
Get active and eat healthy.
As we navigate the terrain of American Heart Month, let us seize the opportunity to prioritize heart health in our communities. You can learn more about prevention and programs offered by the Arkansas Department of Health by visiting healthy.arkansas.gov.