February marks this year's American Heart Month, the time during which the American Heart Association encourages people to stand up in the fight against heart disease. To promote awareness of the issue, the AHA conducted a series of studies pertaining to the life-threatening illness, and compiled a list of recommendations for seniors to follow in order to prevent its contraction.
New stroke prevention tips for women
Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death among women in America, overshadowing all forms of cancer-related or accidental deaths. Because of this, the AHA has focused a large amount of its research on ways women can stay heart healthy. Recently, the organization released the first guidelines catered toward teaching women how to avoid having a stroke, published in the AHA journal Stroke. These recommendations are unique in that they take hormones, genetic predisposition and birth control medications into consideration. Dr. Cheryl Bushnell, author of the scientific statement, spoke about the factors one's gender may play in relation to heart disease.
"If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors," Bushnell said, in an AHA release.
Life's Simple 7
For men and women alike, the AHA produced a list of seven ways in which individuals can prevent heart disease, which are essential for living a healthy lifestyle for seniors. They include staying physically active, monitoring your cholesterol, eating healthy, managing blood pressure, losing weight, reducing blood sugar and not smoking. The organization also encouraged individuals who are looking to improve overall health to start making lifestyle changes that reflect these seven simple steps.