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Keeping Your Heart Healthy

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February is American Heart Month, which is celebrated every year to raise awareness for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day.

In honor of American Hearth Month, Frederick Basilico, MD, Chair of the Department of Medicine and Chief of Cardiology at NEBH has five tips to keep your heart healthy.

  • Exercise regularly. Perform light exercise such as walking for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Alternatively, perform moderate exercise such as running or bicycling for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week.
  • Maintain a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Focus on increased intake of fruits and vegetables.  Protein sources include poultry without skin, fish or legumes. Consider a Mediterranean diet or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
  • Know your blood pressure. Discuss evaluation, management and treatment of elevated blood pressure with your physician.
  • Know your blood lipid profile. Discuss evaluation, management and treatment of abnormal lipid profile with your physician.
  • Seek medical attention if you have onset of any potential cardiac symptoms including palpitations, chest pain or unusual shortness of breath.
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