Know your risk and keep your heart healthy
Allison Koonce, LMH Health
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, causing one in four deaths. Reduce your chance of developing heart disease by knowing your risk factors and modifying those you can.
It is important to find out your cholesterol numbers. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high.
Lowering cholesterol levels lessens the risk of developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack. Knowing your numbers and improving your numbers for heart health is a good idea. Having that information allows you to make choices to improve or maintain your health.
A variety of factors can affect cholesterol levels. You cannot control your age, family history or previous history of heart attack or stroke, but you can control other factors. Take action to control your diet, weight and level of exercise. Eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help lower your cholesterol level.
Being overweight is another risk factor for heart disease and also tends to increase your cholesterol. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. The American Heart Association recommends being physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week.
For more information on protecting yourself against heart disease, visit the America Heart Association website at heart.org.
LMH Health Healthy Hearts Fair
Celebrate American Heart Month this February and focus on your heart health. Join us at the LMH Health Healthy Hearts Fair on Saturday, February 22 from 7:30-10 a.m.
The LMH Health Lab will offer cholesterol screenings and total lipid profiles for $25. Find the registration form in the Lawrence Journal-World, at lmh.org/heart-fair, or by contacting the LMH Health Lab at 785-505-2653. Fast from food and drink for 9 to 12 hours before your blood draw to receive accurate results. Results for HDL and LDL, triglycerides and cholesterol ratios will be mailed to you. You can share these results with your healthcare provider.
You can also participate in free blood pressure, body mass index and finger stick glucose screenings. LMH Health and community organizations will be on-site to answer your heart health questions. Staff members from LMH Health Cardiac Rehabilitation will also be available to discuss ways you can incorporate more physical activity into your day.
Allison Koonce is community outreach & engagement supervisor at LMH Health.