American Heart Month

Filed under: Health & Wellness,Heart of the Community,Long Island,News |

February 2017

American Heart Month

heartHeart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In Suffolk County, 1,224 adults died prematurely due to heart disease and 56,275 were diagnosed with heart disease during the years 2012-2014. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Suffolk County is participating in American Heart Month.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:


  • Learn to Be …Tobacco Free
  • Watch your weight
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation
  • Get active and eat healthfully.


Congenital Heart Disease

Suffolk County has designated the week of February 7 -14 as Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week and February 14 as Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day. Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are problems present at birth that affect the way a baby’s heart is formed and how blood flows through the heart and to the rest of the body. CHDs are the most common type of birth defect, affecting nearly 1 in 100 births every year.

While newborn screening for critical congenital heart defects are now common throughout the United States, there is much to be learned about the causes of CDH. It is estimated that only 15-20 percent of all CHDs are related to known genetic conditions. Most CHDs are thought to be caused by a combination of genes and other risk factors, such as environmental exposures and maternal conditions.

Recently, researchers have reported that maternal obesity, smoking, and diabetes have been shown to have an increased risk of having a pregnancy affected by CHD. Preventing these risk factors before pregnancy is crucial to preventing CHDs. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, take the following precautions:

  • Take a multivitamin with folic acid (400 mcg or more) daily.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, regular physical activity and stay on a healthy diet.
  • See your primary care doctor regularly and check any medications you are taking are safe before pregnancy.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes, epilepsy, PKU, high blood pressure, or if you are taking medications.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol use.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially those with a fever.
  • Avoid exposure to heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides and organic solvents

To learn more about CHDs, visit:


Resources for Healthy Living

Suffolk County joins the American Heart Association on February 3, 2017 to celebrate National Wear Red Day and raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women.

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