Louisville, Ky. ( Feb. 5, 2014)—February is American Heart Month, and KentuckyOne Health is working to reduce heart disease deaths by emphasizing the importance of managing modifiable risk factors for the disease.
Kentucky ranks second in the nation for heart disease deaths. Heart disease is the number one killer of Kentuckians, accounting for 27 percent of all deaths. Rates for heart disease deaths in Jefferson County are also higher than the national average.
Both men and women are at risk for this disease, and while family history and genetics can attribute to heart health, there are a number of modifiable risk factors that contribute to heart disease.
Kentucky ranks above the national average for rates of all of the modifiable risks for heart disease including eating less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, being overweight or obese, no moderate or vigorous physical activity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking and diabetes. Managing these risks can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease.
“A family history doesn’t guarantee heart disease, but with the knowledge of a family history, one should be even more vigilant and proactive in identifying our risk factors and working to change them,” said Jessie Adams, III, M.D. FACC, KentuckyOne Health Cardiology Associates, Governor, Kentucky chapter, American College of Cardiology. “Through the proactive management of our health, we can make a significant change in the heart disease incidence and mortality in our state.”
By getting regular exercise and following a heart healthy diet, one can begin to manage their risk for heart disease. Diet and exercise are at the core of overall health and can positively affect other risk factors like blood pressure, obesity, cholesterol and diabetes. Working closely with a physician can help determine the best diet and exercise regiment for an individual’s heart health.
“It’s up to you to take personal responsibility for your health,” said Dr. Adams. “Together with your doctor, you can work to create changes that make an impact on your overall health, and decrease your risk of heart disease.”
While there is much to be done to prevent heart disease, it’s important to also know the symptoms of a heart attack and to take action immediately if you or someone you love experiences those symptoms.
One common sign of a heart attack is chest discomfort lasting more than a few minutes. This can include pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain, burning or tightness. You may also feel discomfort in other areas of the upper body including one or both arms, neck, back, jaw or stomach. Some may also experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
Men and women may experience symptoms differently, as women are more likely to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, or back or jaw pain, which can often be misattributed.
If you or someone you love experiences any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.
Heart Disease Fact Sheet
Heart disease is the number one killer of Kentuckians, accounting for 27 percent of all deaths.
Heart disease has been the number of killer of Americans for over a century.
Both men and women are at risk for this disease
While family history plays a role, the disease is primarily caused by modifiable risk factors, including:
- eating less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
- being overweight or obese
- no moderate or vigorous physical activity
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- cigarette smoking
Kentucky ranks above the national average for all of these risk factors.
Kentucky is no. 2 in the nation for heart disease mortality.
The signs and symptoms of a heart attack include:
- chest discomfort lasting more than a few minutes
- pressure, squeezing, fullness, pain, burning or tightness in the chest
- discomfort in other areas of the upper body including one or both arms, neck, back, jaw or stomach
- shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- breaking out in a cold sweat
Men and women may experience symptoms differently. Women are more likely to experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, or back or jaw pain. These symptoms can often be misattributed.
If you or someone you love is showing signs and symptoms of a heart attack, seek medical attention immediately or call 9-1-1.