Our hearts do a lot of work. As we head into 2020 and the decade ahead, we need to stop and take stock of what we have learned about heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. accounting for one in every four deaths with coronary artery disease as the most common type of heart disease. A recent survey from the Cleveland Clinic discovered that over 60 percent of Americans were unaware it’s the leading cause of death for women.
People age 65 and older are more likely to develop coronary heart disease or suffer a heart attack or stroke. In addition to these risks, heart disease can also be attributed to a major cause of disability, limiting the activity and quality of life of millions of Americans as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. Read more below as Concordance shares helpful reminders to raise awareness about heart health and heart disease prevention efforts in honor of heart month this February.
Heart Health for All Ages
As we get older, our hearts and blood vessels change along with the rest of our bodies. In addition to differences in our physical appearance, internally we also go through a variety of changes that might be less noticeable since we don’t look in the mirror and see them every day. A major cause of heart disease is the buildup of plaque and fatty deposits in artery walls over many years. When this happens, arteries can narrow reducing blood flow to the heart.
Smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising can all increase the risk of heart disease. Conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes can also increase risks. It’s important to stay on top of preventative care and discuss unique risks with a primary care physician, especially for patients 45-55 years of age. Healthcare providers can help patients delay, lower, avoid or possibly reverse their risk. While it’s a more common discussion among older patients, anyone can develop heart disease, including children. Risk factors that present in childhood can increase the likelihood a child will develop heart disease in adulthood. In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that all children ages 9-11 and 17-21 years of age, can be screened for high cholesterol.
When asked how Concordance plays a role in supporting heart health, Bill Muich, Director of Business Development said, “The strongest adult cardiovascular disease risk factors like hypertension, smoking and obesity, may be present at a young age. Testing a child’s lipids is a simple preventative measure that can be done in the comfort of a pediatric office with results in as little as five to 10 minutes. By having an in office lipid test with quick turnaround on results, healthcare providers gain a ‘teachable’ moment for pediatric patients and their parents. The obesity epidemic has made lipid screening and management in children more important than ever.”
How to Stay Healthy
Moderate regular exercise, a balanced diet and a regular quality sleep cycle are important to support heart health. In addition to these helpful daily habits, routine health screenings are an additional component to maintaining heart health. Scheduling an annual doctor's appointment can be critical to assess individual patient risk factors.
High blood sugar levels increase the risk of developing pre and type 2 diabetes and when left untreated, can also lead to heart disease or stroke. High blood pressure can damage the heart and eventually lead to coronary artery disease or even heart failure. Cholesterol should also be tested regularly and more frequently in those with increased heart health risks. Simple changes can help make being healthy much easier. Healthy decisions in support of heart health include:
- Scheduling a yearly doctor's appointment
- Using spices to season food instead of salt
- Getting active for at least 30 minutes a day
How Distributors Help
Concordance's team of experts are at the heart of supply chain solutions. Our warehouses focus on a customer first mentality and function much like a heart does, pumping products and supplies throughout our connected system of warehouses to providers and patients nationwide. We're focused on the healthcare supply chain and distributing the products healthcare providers need when and where they need them. “Concordance distributes the finest cardiac care products in accordance with our alliances with some fabulous manufacturers. Our manufacturing partners are the true experts on heart health and we work with them to create a direct line to patient care,” says Dana Frank, Director of Resources and Development.
Whether you're a single practitioner, pediatric office or a primary care physician, Concordance is here for you. We can provide everything you need from products, supplies, equipment and more. Contact us to learn more.
*This blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.