Although popular love songs might tell you otherwise, a broken heart can’t kill you – but heart disease can. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
You might not be able to avoid Cupid’s arrow, but you can take steps to lower your risks and prevent heart disease. Start by scheduling an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether you’re at risk for heart disease.
Medicare will cover a cardiovascular screening at no cost to you every 5 years. The screening includes tests to help detect heart disease early and measures cholesterol, blood fat (lipids), and triglyceride levels.
If you and your doctor discover that you’re at risk for a heart attack or stroke, there are steps you can take to help prevent these conditions. You might be able to make lifestyle changes (like changing your diet and increasing your activity level or exercising more often) to lower your cholesterol and stay healthy.
Luckily, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. The national Million Hearts campaign has pledged to help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. You can join them, and get information and resources you need to learn how to take care of your heart and live a healthy life.
February is American Heart Month, and a healthy heart is the best Valentine’s Day gift you could ever give yourself, or the people who love you.