THE PROBLEM: Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death nationally for all Americans. We’re all at risk for a heart attack or stroke. However, African Americans and older individuals are at higher risk than others. Several factors contribute to heart disease.
PROTECT YOURSELF: Talk to your health care professional about your heart health. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. If you smoke, get help to stop. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and follow your doctor’s instructions about your medications. Sign up to be “One in a Million Hearts®” and see how your actions can make a positive difference.
Keep the ABCS in mind every day and especially when you talk to your doctor:
Talk to your doctor about your health history and ask if taking an aspirin each day is right for you.
High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. If yours is high, take steps to lower it.
Half of adults with high cholesterol do not get treatment. Get tested and take control.
Smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.
HOW atom ALLIANCE IS HELPING: We are working with healthcare providers and patients to implement evidence-based practices to support the Million Hearts® initiative goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes. We are focusing intensely on the ABCS for racial and ethnic minorities.
Do you have high blood pressure? Make Control Your Goal
If you know you have high blood pressure, take these steps to help get it under control [PDF-689K]:
- Ask your doctor what your blood pressure should be. Set a goal to lower your pressure with your doctor and discuss how you can reach your goal. Work with your health care team to make sure you meet that goal. Track your blood pressure over time. One way to do that is with this free wallet card [PDF-921K] from Million Hearts®.
- Take your blood pressure medication [PDF-538K] as directed. Set a timer on your phone to remember to take your medication at the same time each day. If you are having trouble with taking your medications on time, paying for your medications, or with side effects, ask your doctor what you can do to make it easier.
- Quit smoking—and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. You can find tips and resources at CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco website.
- Reduce sodium intake. Most Americans consume too much sodium, and it raises blood pressure in most people. Read about ways to reduce your sodium and visit the Million Hearts® Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center for heart healthy recipes and meal plans that are lower in sodium.
Learn more about how to reduce your risk for blood pressure and control it if you have high blood pressure at http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/abouthds/blood_pressure.html.
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Every Body Walk
A campaign aimed at getting more Americans up and moving, with resources for older Americans and their providers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nutrition resources
Choose My Plate resources
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics resources
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
Million Hearts Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center resources
AARP: Caregiving Resource Center
Information, tools and tips for caregivers
Provides people with information and support when they are planning ahead, caring for a loved one, living with an illness or grieving a loss
Team Up, Pressure Down
The National Stroke Association
American Heart Association
Tips from Former Smokers
QuitPal free smartphone app
Medicare Coverage for Smoking Cessation Counseling
Stop Smoking Quiz