February is American Heart Month and the USC Center for Work and Family Life (CWFL) is offering some tips and information to help keep you heart-healthy.
What to know about heart health
- Each year, over 600,000 Americans die due to heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for most groups, and it affects all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
- American Heart Month holds even more importance presently due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public’s heart health, with many individuals forgoing or avoiding hospital care for heart attack and stroke symptoms.
Heart health in the age of COVID-19
- COVID-19 most commonly affects the lungs but can also lead to serious heart problems.
- Lung damage caused by COVID-19 prevents oxygen from reaching the heart muscle, damaging the heart tissue and preventing it from getting oxygen to other tissues.
Maintaining a healthy heart
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Quit smoking.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control blood sugar
- Engage in physical activity with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity.
- Managing your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Have regular checkups with your primary care physician.
To support you, the CWFL has developed educational handouts on hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes which provide information and resources to address these heart disease risk factors.
If you have any questions or would like more information, email Julie Chobdee, Health & Well-Being Program Manager, at Jchobdee@usc.edu.