(Thursday, February 5, 2015) - February is American Heart Month and this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Millions HeartsÂ®â€”a national initiative to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017â€”are encouraging men to learn about their heart health and the importance of blood pressure control.
More than 300,000 men die each year from heart disease. Now is the time for men to take control of their heart health and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.
African American men, especially those who live in the Southeast, are at the highest risk for heart disease. More than 40 percent of African Americans have high blood pressure, a leading cause of heart attack. In addition, a new CDC study shows that Americans between age 30 and 74 who live the Southeastâ€”specifically Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgiaâ€”are at higher risk of developing heart disease over the next 10 years compared to people living in other parts of the country.
What men can do to prevent heart disease and stroke:
- Make control your goal. Check your blood pressure regularlyâ€”at home, at a doctor's office, or at a pharmacy.
- Eat a healthy diet with more fresh fruits, vegetables, potassium, and whole grains and less sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.
- Get active to help maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.
- Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.
- Quit smokingâ€”or don't start.
Visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/newsevents/heartmonth.html to learn more about how to get, and stay, heart healthy.