BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - February is American Heart Month, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is promoting awareness of heart disease and how Louisianians can delay or prevent it.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, Blue Cross executive vice president and chief medical officer. “While people 65 and older tend to be at a higher risk, heart health is something to be mindful of at any age.”
With rising rates of obesity and high blood pressure nationwide, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting increasing cases of heart disease among younger people.
“The good news is, you can take control of your heart health by making some simple lifestyle changes that will greatly lower or even eliminate your risk of heart disease,” Washington said.
Some examples of heart-healthy lifestyle steps people can take include:
- Getting regular exercise
- Quitting or avoiding smoking and tobacco products
- Watching your salt and fat intake
- Knowing your numbers for blood pressure and cholesterol
- Talking to your doctor about your family and medical history to know if you are at higher risk for heart disease
Blue Cross’ care team supports members who are living with heart conditions such as vascular disease, coronary artery disease or high blood pressure.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may be able to work with a health coach – a nurse, dietitian and/or social worker- who will offer personalized information and encouragement. There is no cost for members to work with a Blue Cross health coach.
Visit www.bcbsla.com/Stronger for more information on how to connect with a Blue Cross health coach or learn more about available programs and services.
Dr. Washington talks about heart disease and how you can keep the beat going strong in this video:
Friday, Feb. 1, was Wear Red Day, a national event led by the American Heart Association in which people are encouraged to wear red clothing to work or school to raise awareness of heart disease. Blue Cross employees joined businesses around Louisiana to participate in Wear Red Day.
Join WAFB as we go red for heart health awareness. Snap a selfie and show us your red! Click the photo below to upload your picture: