Along with Valentine’s Day, February marks American Heart Month. Because heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, it’s important to make the time to focus on your heart’s health and ways to improve it.
Where Do I Start?
Seeing your primary care provider annually is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. A routine exam should include blood pressure screening, a cholesterol test, a blood test to measure sugar levels, weight evaluation and a cardiac symptom check along with the non-cardiac assessments of a typical checkup.
Take an Online Heart Risk Assessment
One quick and easy step that anyone can take is to complete a free online heart risk assessment. This immediately analyzes information you input about your health history, then predicts how likely you are to suffer a heart attack in the future. Most assessments are based on guidelines set by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. They typically look at your body mass index, family history, smoking history, cholesterol numbers (if you know them), activity level and eating habits to predict the likelihood you’ll have a heart attack.
Take the Henry Ford Heart Health Quiz now at HenryFord.com/HeartHealth and in just a few minutes, you’ll have a personalized report on how well you’re doing and actions you can take against heart disease.
Comprehensive Heart Screening
The Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute offers a comprehensive $99 Heart Smart Screening. This screening is ideal for people between 30 and 64 years of age who consider themselves healthy but have unique risk factors such as a family history of heart disease. The seven-point heart screening offers detailed diagnostic imaging and lab work, including a 12-Lead ECG test that quickly measures the electrical activity of your heart, vascular disease screening and fasting blood glucose screening. Immediately afterward, a cardiologist meets with you to review your results.
Lower Your Heart Attack Risk
The most important steps you can take to keep your heart healthy are the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” recommendations:
- Manage your blood pressure
- Control your cholesterol
- Reduce your blood sugar
- Get active: At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week (or 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week) plus moderate to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days per week.
- Eat better: Avoid sugar, processed food, trans fat and sodium.
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking
Call 1-800-532-2411 to make an appointment with a doctor to talk about your heart health.