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Keep your heart healthy

Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Joshua Lazenby, a respiratory technician at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Internal Medicine, administers a pulmonary function test to Joy Davis. A pulmonary function test measures how well the lungs add oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. February is American Heart Month; spread the word about stopping this deadly disease and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel) Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Joshua Lazenby, a respiratory technician at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Internal Medicine, administers a pulmonary function test to Joy Davis. A pulmonary function test measures how well the lungs add oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the blood. February is American Heart Month; spread the word about stopping this deadly disease and encourage people to live heart-healthy lives. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

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Heart Health

NAVAL HOSPITAL CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Heart disease is the term used for several types of problems affecting the heart. Coronary Artery Disease is the most common type of heart disease. CAD kills more than 380,000 people every year. Forty seven percent, or about half of all American adults have at least one of the three major risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop heart disease.

Some of the most common conditions that lead to heart disease can be improved with healthy lifestyle changes. Obesity, alcohol consumption and tobacco use are among the leading factors contributing to heart disease. Healthy diets, along with physical activity are two of the easiest ways to reduce these risks and should be discussed with a health care provider.

 “As a cardiologist, two of the most common questions I am asked are, how do I prevent myself from getting heart disease or what should I do to become healthier,” said Cicely Dye, Chief Cardiologist at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. 

Dye says her response is always the same, “First, get moving. Regular physical fitness is a significant part of maintaining a healthy heart. Second, eat healthy and in moderation. Third, stop smoking!”

Genetics can also influence an individual’s risk for developing heart disease.

Nearly 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. Family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments that can influence their health and their risk for disease. Members of a family can pass these traits from one generation to another. Some of the traits you inherit from your parents can affect your risk for heart disease.

There are also several controllable medical conditions that can increase the risk of developing heart disease. If high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are left uncontrolled, they can increase the risk of heart disease. In the case of diabetes, the risk of heart disease can be as high as four times.

Other research shows that heart disease can be precipitated not only physically, but psychologically as well. We put ourselves at risk simply because of the day-to-day stress in our lives. Common stressors for service members and their families can include daily operational commitments, threat of injury or loss of a loved one or friend in combat, or physical fitness tests.

Nearly 2,150 Americans die each day from heart disease – that's 2,150 reasons to live a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise coupled with managing your stress. Raise the awareness and keep your heart healthy.

Disclaimer: Re-published content may have been edited for length and clarity. Read original post.

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