Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, causing over 650,000 deaths annually and one person dying every 36 seconds from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means that 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
As an employer, you want what’s best for your employees’ health. This Valentine’s Day, show some love to your valued team members by sharing this important information about maintaining a healthy heart.
What is heart disease?
According to the CDC, Heart disease is a term used to refer to several different types of heart conditions. Out of all the various heart conditions, coronary artery disease—caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the heart’s arteries—is the most common. Other common forms of heart disease include:
❤ Heart failure
❤ Valvular heart disease
❤ Aortic aneurysms
❤ Congenital heart defects
Heart disease is often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease typically refers to heart conditions involving blocked or narrowed blood vessels as shown in the image below, leading to chest pains, stroke, and heart attacks.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
The symptoms of heart disease can vary, and some people may not even know they have a heart condition until they have a heart attack. Common signs and symptoms of heart disease include:
❤ Shortness of breath
❤ Chest pain
❤ Health palpitations
What are the treatments for heart disease?
Treatment for heart disease will vary on a case-by-case basis. The treatment goals for heart disease are to relieve symptoms, control or reduce risk factors, stop or slow further damage to the arteries, and prevent and treat cardiac events. Treatment options may include:
❤ Self-care and prevention
❤ Procedures to open blocked or narrowed arteries or to bypass them
❤ Cardiac rehabilitation
What are the risks for developing heart disease?
Certain uncontrollable factors increase your risk of heart disease, including age, sex, and family history. Generally speaking, those with a family history of heart disease, men, and older people have a higher risk of developing a heart condition. However, other factors that increase your risk for heart disease include stress, inactivity, obesity, diabetes, smoking, and a poor diet, all of which are controllable.
Is heart disease preventable?
In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and properly managing health conditions. Here are tips that may help prevent heart disease:
❤ Refrain from smoking
❤ Maintain a healthy weight
❤ Limit your sodium intake
❤ Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
❤ Exercise regularly
❤ Manage your stress
❤ Limit your alcohol intake
Fostering an environment of health and wellness could potentially save your company big bucks when it comes to health care costs and retaining employees. Are you doing everything you can to encourage wellness in the workplace? SWBC’s Employee Benefits Consulting Group is here to help with plans that include customized wellness programs.
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