HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – February is American Heart Month and the South Heartland District Health Department is highlighting the importance of heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease during the month.
According to health experts, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 33 seconds globally.
Director Michele Bever said what makes cardiovascular disease so dangerous, is that it can lead to a lot of life-threatening conditions in patients.
”Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart and blood vessels and there’s a set of conditions as a result of a substance called plaque that’s building up in our arteries and these conditions could be coronary artery disease, where it’s chest pain, heart attack, or stroke,” Bever said.
She added that cardiovascular disease is not only the leading cause of death nationwide but also prevalent in the state of Nebraska.
”About 1 in 12 people have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease and these are the leading causes of death across the nation actually and if you have diabetes than you’re two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than those who do not have diabetes,” Bever said.
In addition to being a leading cause of death, she mentioned that the disease also imposes a financial burden on families, with healthcare costs exceeding $422.3 billion between 2019 and 2020.
To lower the risk of the disease and improve your overall cardiovascular health, Bever emphasized the importance of making lifestyle changes and educating yourself about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
”Both diabetes and cardiovascular disease have similar risk factors, so it’s important to learn or find out if you have those risk factors and think about whether to take some next steps and make some changes and there’s some things everyone can do to make their risk