American Heart Month

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heart with a stethascope

As American Heart Month approaches in February, the Carteret County Health Department (CCHD) urges residents to prioritize their heart health and embrace small changes for long-term benefits. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heart disease claims a life every 33 seconds, making it the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
"Small steps can make a big difference,” said Kim Davis, Carteret County public health nursing director. “By incorporating heart-healthy habits into your daily routine, you can improve your overall health, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, and empower yourself to live a longer, more fulfilling life.”
Residents can improve their cardiovascular well-being by taking control of these factors:
• Know your risk factors: High blood cholesterol, uncontrolled blood pressure, diabetes, carrying extra weight, family history of early heart disease, age (55 or older for women), physical inactivity, and smoking all contribute to an increased risk. 

• Embrace Life's Essential 8™: Follow the American Heart Association's evidence-based recommendations for lifelong good health: eat better, be more active, quit tobacco, get healthy sleep, manage weight, control cholesterol, manage blood sugar, and manage blood pressure. 

• Listen to your body: Don't ignore warning signs like chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness, unusual upper body pain, skipped heartbeats, or unexplained fatigue. These could be indicators of a serious heart condition and require immediate medical attention. 

Kicking off American Heart Month, CCHD staff will proudly wear red on Friday, Feb. 2, National Wear Red Day, to raise awareness and advocate for heart health, specifically for women who face higher risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke. CCHD encourages residents to join the movement by wearing red and sharing their personal heart-healthy stories on social media using #CarteretHeartHealth. For more information about heart disease prevention, risk factors, and healthy lifestyle tips, please visit the Carteret County Health Department website at or contact the health department at (252) 728-8550.