Heart health is focus of virtual event
February, also known as Heart Health Month, is a great time to raise awareness of heart disease among South Carolina’s seniors, since it is the number one killer for adults 65+, claiming 35 lives per day.
To educate the senior population in South Carolina about the importance of heart health, Partners in Primary Care is inviting all seniors to become “Heart Heroes” by joining a two-part Heart Health virtual education event, where they can discuss the risks of heart disease, as well as learn about ways to keep their heart – and plate – healthy. Further, all attendees will be entered for a chance to win a $65 HelloFresh gift card. To register for the Heart Health event being held on February 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. EST/11:00AM PST, please visit, http://bit.ly/HEARTPIPC.
Additionally, Erica Savage-Jeter, M.D., a South Carolina primary care physician and Regional Medical Director of Partners in Primary Care, has a number of suggestions to help seniors stay heart healthy, particularly amidst the challenges of COVID-19.
Get Regular Check-ups
The pandemic has caused many patients to forgo proper preventative care, but the best way to prevent cardiovascular disease is by continuing to get regular check-ups. If you’re unsure about going to the doctor, ask about their COVID-19 safety protocols or see what accommodations they might be willing to make to ensure you still get seen.
While common risk factors for heart disease in men and women include obesity, smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure, there are risk factors that can disproportionately affect women, like hypertension, stress and depression. Further, the symptoms of an acute cardiac episode can differ based on gender. For example, while men might experience chest pain, women might not and, instead, may experience lesser-known symptoms like extreme fatigue and pain radiating down the arms.
Eat a Heart Healthy Diet
The best diet for preventing heart disease is full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish and poultry, while limiting red meat, trans fats and alcohol, among others. If you’re having trouble accessing food, ask your doctor for assistance in finding a food pantry or food drive.
While the pandemic may have put seniors usual exercise routines on hold, there are still great ways to get moving by going out for a walk or jog, riding a bike or taking advantage of online exercise classes at home.
Be Aware of the Signs of an Unhealthy Heart
Heart disease may show no symptoms until an acute episode arises. If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea and/or extreme fatigue, among others, seek emergency care right away.