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How to Get Pumped Up for American Heart Month

by Tracey A. Maine on February 17, 2020

February 2020 is American Heart Month!

What’s the history of AHM?

On Dec. 30, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation establishing February as American Heart Month.

In his address commemorating the decision, Johnson encouraged “the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.”

Johnson’s efforts literally changed the nation’s perception of cardiovascular disease.

The Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health was published a year later on Jan. 11, 1964. Released by Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry, the eye-opening publication became the first federal government report to link smoking to lung cancer and heart disease.

What are some statistics regarding heart disease? 

According to a report by the Center for Disease Control last updated on Dec. 2, 2019, the following are some statistics about the impact cardiovascular disease has on the American people:

  • One person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  • About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Heart disease costs the United States about $219 billion each year from 2014 to 2015. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines and lost productivity due to death.

What are the biggest risk factors related to heart disease?

According to WebMD, the following factors can play a major role in contributing to the development of heart disease:

  • Smoking
  • High LDL, or "bad" cholesterol
  • Low HDL, or "good" cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Unmonitored diabetes
  • Unresolved stress and anger.

How can I participate in American Heart Month?

The following are 7 things you can do to get yourself pumped up to celebrate AHM:

  1. Wear something red.
  2. Post something on your social media pages in honor of AHM.
  3. Start exercising on a regular basis.
  4. Avoid saturated fats, trans fats and excess sodium and sugar.
  5. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry and fish into your diet. 
  6. Learn how to perform CPR.
  7. Show your support for someone who is trying to quit smoking.

Is there a connection between heart disease and dental hygiene?

A March 1, 2018, article published by the Harvard Medical School addresses the connection between heart disease and gum disease.  Entitled, “Gum disease & heart disease: The common thread,” the article states that “people with gum disease have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack”

Where can I study dental hygiene?

In only two years students can graduate from Hocking College’s Dental Hygiene program with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree.

Located at Hocking College’s Perry Campus in New Lexington, Ohio, this new Dental Hygiene program offers students the required training in general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and dental hygiene sciences they’ll need to succeed.

Students who successfully complete this program will be eligible to take their national and regional board exams and their state laws exams in order to become a registered dental hygienist.

For more information on Hocking College’s Dental Hygiene program contact Program Manager Misti Malfe by email at malfem@hocking.edu or by phone at 740-342-3337 #7548.

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