WASHINGTON, D.C. – Men’s Health Network (MHN) celebrates American Heart Month in February, and recommits its effort for the last 20 years to save the lives of sons, brothers, fathers and loved ones. We hear it all the time: men live shorter lives than women, and, one of the leading causes for those deaths is cardiovascular disease.
“Claiming the lives of approximately 600,000 Americans per year according to most recent data, heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans—men and women,” said Doctor Ola Akinboboye, President, Association of Black Cardiologists. “But fewer people are aware that men are more likely than women to develop the disease earlier and die at younger ages. In this, the 50th year of American Heart Month, let us all become more aware of our own cardiovascular health and take the necessary steps towards a healthier lifestyle; whether it’s blood pressure control, cholesterol management or smoking cessation.”
What is heart disease? According to the American Heart Association heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – is a simple term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke. Other types of heart disease include heart failure, an irregular heartbeat – or arrhythmia – and heart valve problems
MHN partners with a variety of organizations to raise awareness about heart disease among men and their loved ones. Through these efforts they encourage men and their families to prevent heart attack and stroke by being physically active, never starting to smoke, and reducing sodium and trans fat in the foods you eat.
Prevention is very important, which is why MHN partnered with the Million Hearts initiative, a national public-private effort to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Through the initiative, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, community health workers, and health care systems are actively working with men and women who are at risk to improve the ABCS of heart health: Aspirin when appropriate, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation.
MHN published a free resource dedicated to advance the heart health of men, boys and their families, entitled Heartbeat, Cardiovascular Disease: What you can do to improve your heart health.