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February is National Heart Month; Tips Offered by Appalachian District Health to Promote Heart Health

adhdFeb. 4, 2013. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common is coronary artery disease. It can cause heart attacks, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias. According to the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics, heart disease accounted for over 17,000 deaths in North Carolina in 2010. From 2007-2011 heart disease has accounted for over 400 deaths in Watauga County.

Good news! You can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease through lifestyle changes and in some cases through medication. It’s important to remember your ABCS:

A: Aspirin—Appropriate aspirin therapy as prescribed by your doctor.

B: Blood pressure—Control your blood pressure and reduce sodium intake.

C: Cholesterol—Cholesterol management. 

S: Smoking—Smoking Cessation.

Two very important components of prevention and control of heart disease risk factors are diet and exercise. In addition to the ABCS add D & E:

D: Diet—Make sure to eat a healthy diet and get your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

E: Exercise—Be active every day! For adults, 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended each week.

The Greenway offers a scenic and safe place to get physical activity. It is a fully accessible trail that has either paved or gravel surfaced and mostly flat. Walkers, runners, cyclists, wheelchairs, strollers and hikers are all permitted to use the Greenway. It also provides a great place to walk your dog however they must remain on a leash. The best way to access the core greenway area is through the Watauga County Recreation Complex located off State Farm Road.

Appalachian District Health Department offers free cardiovascular health screenings, education and referral services to eligible women through the NC WISEWOMAN Project. For more information about our local WISEWOMAN Project, contact Faith Haywood at (828) 264-4995. To learn more about NC WISEWOMAN, visit

www.bcccp.ncdhhs.gov/wisewoman.htm or call 919-707-5300.

A great resource for learning more about heart disease is the Million Hearts website, http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/index.html

Be WISE and protect your heart!