SPARTANBURG — While a cheeseburger and fries may make your heart swell with joy, a diet high in cholesterol and saturated fat could also cause a heart attack.
February is National Heart Month, bringing awareness to heart disease, which kills an estimated 630,000 people every year. You’ve got a lot of heart, so don’t let high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other risk factors stop your beat!
Heart disease comes in many forms including high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure or diabetes according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Risk factors for heart disease include heredity, tobacco use, poor diet, physical inactivity, obesity and alcohol consumption.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can keep your heart beating:
1. Eat a healthy diet. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and high in fiber. Limit sodium to lower blood pressure.
2. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease.
3. Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
4. Don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease.
5. Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which causes high blood pressure.
Not quite sure if you are at risk of heart disease? Attend one of our four free Cardiovascular Risk Screenings:
• Saturday, Feb. 6, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Immediate Care Center — Westside, Spartanburg
• Thursday, Feb. 18, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Union Medical Center, Union
• Saturday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Kirby Memorial Baptist Church, Gaffney
• Wednesday, Feb. 24, 8 a.m.-12 p.m.
Pelham Medical Center, Greer
These free cardiovascular risk screenings including a finger stick lipid profile, blood pressure, one-minute pulse check, weight/BMI, review of results and risk factors by a registered nurse, and a consultation with a dietitian. Screenings are available to anyone over age 18 not currently under the care of a cardiologist. No appointments are necessary and fasting is recommended but not required. This screening does not take the place of a visit with your physician. For more information about additional dates and locations, visit SpartanburgRegional.com/Heart or call 864-560-7999.
About Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) offers a full spectrum of services through four hospitals: Spartanburg Medical Center, Pelham Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care and Union Medical Center. SRHS also includes Ellen Sagar Nursing Center, 113-bed long-term care, skilled nursing facility that offers nursing care and rehabilitation services. SRHS provides unparalleled oncological care through the Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute. The multidisciplinary Medical Group of the Carolinas has more than 300 physicians across seven counties in two states. SRHS employs nearly 6,000 associates and offers outpatient surgery centers, a vibrant post-acute division, a Level I Trauma Center, and Advicare, a licensed Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). Advicare provides Medicaid services to residents throughout the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report ranked Spartanburg Medical Center the No. 1 regional hospital in South Carolina in 2014-15. The Commission on Cancer gave Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute its Outstanding Achievement Award.
This story was submitted by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System.