Our public health nurses find ways to prioritize cardiovascular disease prevention in their practice of health promotion at the Malheur County Health Department. Learn with us to prevent heart attacks and strokes through the Million Hearts Collaboration.
As a voice for public health nurses, the Association of Public Health Nurses (APHN) has been part of the Million Hearts Collaboration since 2015. This collaboration consists of national organizations that are committed to the Million Hearts goal of preventing ONE MILLION heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. in the next 5 years. In Malheur County, we want to do our part with the community and other healthcare providers to advance key messages that could save lives. A great tool of the Million Hearts Collaboration is the ABCS of Heart Health.
ABCS of Heart Health
Every year, Americans suffer more than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes.
The good news is that you can help reduce your risk and improve your heart health by following the ABCS!
- A: Take aspirin as directed by your health care professional.
- B: Control your blood pressure.
- C: Manage your cholesterol.
- S: Don’t smoke.
What are the ABCS of heart health?
A: Take aspirin as directed by your health care professional.
Ask your health care professional if aspirin can reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Be sure to tell your health care professional if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke, and mention your own medical history.
B: Control your blood pressure.
Blood pressure measures the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries. If your blood pressure stays high for a long time, you may suffer from high blood pressure (also called hypertension).
High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack or stroke more than any other risk factor. Find out what your blood pressure numbers are, and ask your health care professional what those numbers mean for your health. If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care professional to lower it.
C: Manage your cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods. Your body needs cholesterol, but when you have too much, it can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease.
There are different types of cholesterol: One type is “good” and can protect you from heart disease, but another type is “bad” and can increase your risk. Talk to your health care professional about cholesterol and how to lower your bad cholesterol if it’s too high.
S: Don’t smoke.
Smoking raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke. If you smoke, quit. Talk with your health care professional about ways to help you stick with your decision. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Visit smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.
Learn more at the CDC website Prevent Heart Disease.
Thanks to our public health nurses for sharing! Reach out to us at 541-889-7279 for more information on the ways our programs can educate, screen, and refer you and your family to the care you need.