(February 8, 2012, Oklahoma City, Ok) – February is American Heart Month, a month to spread awareness about the importance of heart health. Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) announces its support for the Million Hearts Campaign and calls all Oklahomans to take part in preventing heart disease, one of the state’s leading killers.
“Everyone can play a part in preventing heart disease,” said Gregg Koehn, OFMQ president and CEO. “Our aim is to make people aware of things they can do to protect themselves and their families from heart disease,” he said.
The Million Hearts Campaign, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes, makes the following recommendations to help individuals prevent heart disease:
- Partner with your doctor. Talk to your doctor so you fully understand your risks.
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Know your ABCS:
o Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
o Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
o If you Smoke, get help to quit.
- Make your calories count by eating a heart-healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fat.
- Take control of your heart health by following your doctor's prescription instructions.
- Challenge your family and friends to take the Million Hearts™ pledge at www.millionhearts.hhs.gov.
According to the latest State Health Rankings Report, Oklahoma is 48th in the nation in deaths from cardiovascular disease. The state’s overall health ranking fell to 48th from 46th last year.
“The information to help us improve Oklahoma’s cardiac health is out there,” Koehn said. “It’s time to do something about it.”
- The Million Hearts Campaign Website provides tools for people at: http://millionhearts.hhs.gov. Click on Resources.
- Information about cardiovascular screenings and smoking cessation services covered by Medicare is available at: www.medicare.gov. Go to Manage Your Health, then Preventive Services.
Separately, OFMQ announced a groundbreaking partnership among 15 Oklahoma organizations that is developing a plan to help ease the burden of cardiovascular disease, one of the leading killers in Oklahoma. Working with providers and citizens throughout the state, the partnership seeks to reduce cardiac risk factors including hypertension, smoking and high cholesterol while increasing heart-healthy behaviors.