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Love and care for your heart

Your heart is the engine of your body. And even though you might think it’s working normally, this major organ requires special care and attention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 600,000 people in the United States die each year from heart disease. The CDC also reports that a quarter of Hispanics have high blood pressure.

There are many types of heart complications, but one of the most common is coronary heart disease.

What is coronary heart disease and what are the causes?

This illness — called atherosclerosis — happens when plaque forms in the artery walls, restricting normal blood flow through the body. This plaque is made up of cholesterol, calcium and other substances.

There are many risks factors causing coronary heart diseases, some related to your lifestyle or medical conditions, including:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Being overweight
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking, among others

Health consequences

When a clogged artery restricts your flow of blood, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Chest pains
  • Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmias
  • Heart failure, or even a heart attack

Prevention and treatment

To reduce the risk of getting these or other heart diseases, take your blood pressure every six months and go over the results with your doctor. It’s also a good idea to eat well, exercise and not smoke.

Along with a balanced diet and exercise regimen, your physician may also prescribe medication to treat heart disease. If your condition is more advanced, bypass surgery may be needed to allow the blood to return to its normal flow.

Stay informed

Million Hearts is a national initiative where you can find information about heart disease. It also offers the opportunity to help prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

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Keep Your Heart Healthy – Free Publications, Risk Calculator, Prevention Tips and More

February is American Heart Month. This annual observance reminds us that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but that there are steps we can take to reduce our risk.

Use these resources to help you and your loved ones live healthier lives:

High blood pressure is dangerous and often without symptoms, and increases in blood pressure can put you at risk for heart disease. Use these tips to avoid health complications as a result of high blood pressure.

Watching Two Hours of TV Per Day Can Put Your Health At Risk

People who watch two or more hours of TV a day are much more likely to have severe health problems than people who do not, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health that analyzed data from the past 30 years.

Too much TV is linked to:

  • a 20 percent increase in diabetes
  • a 15 percent increase in cardiovascular diseases
  • a 13 percent increase in death by any cause.

A key reason is that TV time is often spent sitting and eating unhealthy food instead of exercising.

Replacing TV with other common activities can make a big difference to your health.

Use these suggestions from the National Institutes of Health to find ideas of what you can do instead of watching TV.