Continuum Health Group (CHG) is celebrating American Heart Month this February. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups, with one person dying every 34 seconds (CDC, 2022). As of 2022, roughly 20.1 million adults twenty years and older have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Each year the implications of heart disease cost the American public $229 billion – including the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death. Thankfully, most chronic diseases can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Whether by following a nutritious diet (meals low in sodium and saturated fats), exercising daily (a brisk 30-minute walk), getting quality sleep (7-8 hours), avoiding smoking, and managing stress levels healthily (e.g., meditation, yoga, reading), these lifestyle changes can all contribute to longevity (AHA, 2021). Self-care makes our hearts happy and benefits our overall well-being and mental health. Additionally, primary care, such as screenings, physical exams, and other preventative services, is crucial to catching the disease before its progression, allowing for increased chances of survival.
Continuum Health Group monitors legislation and advocates on behalf of all those affected by heart disease for increased funding, support structures, health care services, and visibility. Health equity is essential to ensuring that everyone – regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – has access to resources that provide autonomy in lifestyle choices. This February, CHG wishes everyone a very happy, healthy heart.