By Selina Johnson
February was American Heart Month and our office thought it would be great to go more in depth about why cardiovascular health is so important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 659,000 people die every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths.” That is an alarming statistic with a high death rate. Some examples of what fall under the umbrella of cardiovascular disease include but are not limited to: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic heart failure, arrhythmias and atherosclerosis. Studies also show that, “heart disease is the leading cause of death for people for most racial and ethnic groups in the United States, including African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic.” Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol are key risk factors for heart disease.
You can prevent heart disease by living a healthier lifestyle through exercise, whole foods and by monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol. Creating these healthier habits can lead to prevention. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol you are more likely to be at risk of heart disease. You can monitor your risk for heart disease if you have any of the previous by taking your medications, creating a plan with your doctor to monitor your health, check your cholesterol and control your blood pressure. If you have a family history of heart disease consult with your doctor about what the plan of action should be.
According to Medical News Today, “people with lower socioeconomic status had a 50% increased risk of developing heart disease compare to other study participants.” This is attributed to reduced access to affordable healthcare, healthcare facilities, treatments and medications. HAPPI Health has implemented some resources to ensure our services are accessible to all patients regardless of socioeconomic status. HAPPI Health has a sliding fee program that we encourage all patients to apply to that can help subset the cost of appointments, labs, medications and what other treatment the provider may deem necessary. Our sliding fee program is easy to apply to and hassle free. You can ask one of the receptionists for the paperwork to see if you qualify. HAPPI Health has recently hired two primary care providers who have over 20 years of experience and can access the signs of heart disease. We have several partnerships with cardiologists that we refer our patients to when they need additional testing. HAPPI Health also offers care management and pre-visit calls to our patients. Care management at HAPPI Health assists patients that have multiple health problems such as: diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, COPD, and asthma. We do pre-visit calls to go over lab or imaging results, routine refills and routine follow ups. We also ask if they have any questions, they want to ask the provider at their upcoming appointment.
When it comes to your cardiovascular health, we are here to address any of your needs and concerns. We believe prevention is better than cure but regardless of what stage your cardiovascular health is in we will work with you to get you to the healthiest version of you.
MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Lower income individuals have 50% higher risk of heart disease. Medical News Today. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/233456
“Other Conditions Related to Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Jan. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/other_conditions.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, February 7). Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 2, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm