| Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Celebrate. World Heart Day is September 29.

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

healthy heartIf you don’t have heart disease, chances are you probably know someone who does.

According to the World Heart Federation®, Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the number one killer worldwide. CVD is responsible for 17.3 million deaths a year. Many of these deaths are preventable.1

Many people assume cardiovascular disease affects mostly men. This is incorrect. Women are affected by CVD and children are vulnerable, too. In fact, heart disease causes one in three female deaths each year and 1,000,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart defect.2

The good news is that cardiovascular disease may be able to be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices:

Eat a heart-healthy diet: You don’t have to cut out your favorite foods forever.  Instead, try eating a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, reduce the portion size of less healthy food and increase the portion size of healthy food, and try eating a piece of fruit instead of a piece [of] chocolate to cure your sweet tooth. Eating habits like these can make a big difference in maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy heart.

Be physically active: Don’t rely on only exercise to get your physical activity. Playing outside with the grandkids, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing household chores or riding your bike instead of driving all count as physical activity.

Don’t smoke and stay away from second-hand smoke: Second-hand smoke is responsible for the deaths of 600,000 non-smokers each year.3 Smoking causes 10 percent of cardiovascular illnesses.4 The good news is that after quitting smoking for 15 years, the risk of heart attack falls to the same level that it would be for someone who has never smoked.

Take care of your heart and do what you can to live a longer, happier and healthier life.

Happy World Heart Day

For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.

Resources:

World Heart Day: World-Heart-Federation.org

Smokers Need Help to Quit: Medicaremadeclear.com

American Heart Association®: Get tips on getting healthy: Heart.org

1, 2, 3, 4 World Heart Federation® World Heart Day Infographic, 2013

 

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