Heart Month

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The month of February is designated as Heart Month. This month strives to educate the
public about the importance of improving heart health. This endeavor aims to help people
identify and understand helpful adjustments that can be made to increase heart health. The term
“heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. In the United States, the most common
type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attack. You can greatly
reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medicine. There
are several everyday things that we can do in achieving healthier lives for 2024. With this
designation, both the American Heart Association along with the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) have put out some great information.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. The good news is that heart disease can
often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.
Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for
people to make healthier choices. National trends show heart disease death rates are declining
more slowly than they have in the past, especially among adults ages 35 to 64. The CDC
Division of Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Million Hearts is focused on letting
younger adults know they are not immune to heart disease, but that they can reduce their risk—at
any age—through lifestyle changes and by managing medical conditions. For more information
and statistics about heart disease visit https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/index.htm.

Here are some tips from the CDC to take control of your heart health:
 Find time to be active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
 Make healthy eating a habit. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big
difference. Try making healthier versions of your favorite recipes by looking for ways to
lower sodium and trans-fat. Additionally, try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables.

 Quit tobacco. Smoking cigarettes and using other tobacco products affects nearly every
organ in your body, including your heart. Visit the CDC website for great tips on how to
quit. https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-
smoking/index.html?s_cid=OSH_tips_D9385

 Know your numbers. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are major risk factors for
heart disease. Ask your health care team to check your blood pressure and blood
cholesterol levels regularly and help you take steps to control your levels.
 Stick to the “script”. Taking your medications can be tough, especially if you feel fine.
However, focusing on your medication routine is important for managing and controlling
conditions that could put your heart at risk.

The American Heart Association (AHA) is an organization that helps bring heart health
knowledge, leadership, and resources to all levels of government. Whether it is the federal, state,
or local level, the AHA identifies ways of educating the public and develops systems of care that
work to help acute conditions, which will result in helping to improve the patient’s outcomes.
Many of these systems coordinate impacted people to help them recover, while also improving
the cost-effectiveness of their care. These systems of care generally are tailored by more
localized methods that focus on certain regions of the nation and individual states. The
Association uses collected data that helps a seamless transition from each stage of care. It is with
these types of awareness and outreach that they hope will save lives. If you would like to learn
more information about healthy tips on cardiovascular health, you can visit the American Heart
Association’s website at www.heart.org .

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article,
please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my
office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to
contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time
to assist with questions, concerns, or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office,
361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Aransas County and Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted
at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.