February is American Heart Month
The month of February is American Heart Month, designated to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases and save lives with education. Did you know that with education and action, approximately 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases could be prevented? It’s important to know ways you can help control your risk of heart disease, the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, as well as your health numbers.
More than 2,000 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day – that’s an average of one death every 38 seconds. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke, remains the leading global cause of death, with more than 17.9 million deaths each year. That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030, according to the American Heart Association. Those are some pretty scary statistics.
It’s especially scary knowing cardiovascular disease can happen to anyone – even those who think they are perfectly healthy. That’s why it’s especially important to know your family history and your health numbers. It is imperative to be aware of your key markers of heart health, which includes blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference.
A Cleveland Clinic survey last year showed that while 68 percent of Americans are worried about dying from heart disease, many don’t know the basic numbers important for heart health. For example, only 18 percent of participants knew their BMI, and only 38 percent knew their blood pressure. In addition, only 36 percent knew that their waist circumference was an important factor in determining heart disease risk.
At Faith Technologies, we don’t want our employees to be part of those statistics, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve offered free annual biometric screenings to all of our employees and their spouses for over a decade. The biometric screenings provide vital information about the participant’s overall health, including cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL), triglycerides, cardiac risk, glucose, blood pressure, height, weight, BMI, and waist circumference. These are all vital measurements for determining various health risks, including for cardiovascular diseases.
A few years ago, one of our employees shared that his biometric screening results indicated elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. When visiting with his doctor to go over his screening results, they noticed abnormal rhythms with his heart. After seeing a cardiologist and having an EKG test, it was determined that he was in need of heart surgery. During surgery, the doctors found and were able to correct multiple heart issues. The employee asked his doctor what would have happened if his heart issues had gone unnoticed, and the doctor advised that the risk was a very elevated chance of sudden death. As you can imagine, a story like this only makes us more determined to help our employees learn about and take action on their health.
Another way Faith Technologies creates awareness around heart health is by proudly supporting the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day initiative. For the past seven years, Faith Technologies’ employees sport their favorite red attire on the first Friday of February – check out our recent video compilation.
From our team to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy American Heart Month!