Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important for all of us to take care of our overall health and pay attention to risk factors for chronic conditions.
We talked with experts from the Otero County Health Department and 9Health Expert Dr. Payal Kohli on Facebook Live about taking care of your heart and reducing your risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Patients should keep tabs on their blood pressure, cholesterol levels and understand their family history as all these things play an important role in understanding the risk to a patient’s heart.
Dr. Kohli shared an acronym that she uses with her patients to help understand the risk factors associated with heart complications:
A = Age/Alcohol. Less than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Age is not in your control but your risk for heart issues increases as you get older.
B = Blood pressure. Keep blood pressure at less than 120/80 ideally to keep walls of blood vessels from getting damaged. 130/80 is the cut off for needing medication.
C = Cholesterol/Cigarettes. The goal is to keep LDL, the “bad” cholesterol below 100 to keep it from sticking to the walls of the arteries. Triglycerides should be less than 150. C is also for cigarettes, smoking damages the walls of the arteries.
D = Diabetes. The higher your A1C numbers, a measurement of glucose in the blood, the higher your risk for diabetes and heart issues. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 percent signals prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed when the A1C is over 6.5 percent.
E = Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-high intensity cardiovascular exercise five times per week.
In addition to the cardiac risk screening, 9Health is offering online assessments for:
If you have a health question you can talk to a medical professional through our 9Health Neighbors Program by calling 303-698-4455, ext. 2005. Leave a message and a 9Health Medical Volunteer will call you back within 24 hours.
9Health is a 501c-3 community non-profit empowering people to put health in their own hands by providing tools such as preventive health screenings, evidence-based, objective health education and eTools and resources for every day in your health journey.