Keeping your heart healthy during National Heart Health Month

Rise in cardiovascular deaths.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:57 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - February is National American Heart Month, and medical experts have a new warning about your heart health.

According to the American Heart Association, the number of people dying from cardiovascular-related causes is the worst since 2015.

“With COVID, we are even seeing even younger people now getting infected,” said Dr. Kapildeo Lotun, Interventional Cardiologist and St. Mary’s Hospital’s Structural Heart Program Medical Director. “Because there has been so much with COVID that we didn’t know about.”

New data just released this month shows the reality of the problem.

In 2020, just over 928,000 people died due to heart-related issues, and it’s not just older people experts say need to be worried.

These deaths are why Carondelet Health Networks want to tackle the problem before it worsens. The hospital system teamed up to give the community access to a free cardiovascular screening on Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day, which is February 22.

“We are seeing younger people having heart attacks,” Dr. Lotun said. “Younger people are having lung problems, younger people are having heart failure problems, so those are really one of the things we are seeing.”

Medical experts said it’s best to know the signs to keep heart disease away.

Taking your blood pressure and listening to your heart regularly are simple ways to stay healthy.

“Get your preventative check, like your cholesterol check,” Lotun said. “Make sure you are having an EKG and having all the preventative things you need.”

Dr. Lotun also says diet, exercise, and keeping an eye on your overall health are vital to keeping your heart healthy.

“We need to bring awareness to not only our older population but our younger population,” Dr. Lotun said. “We dedicate a whole month to this because it’s still the number one killer.”

Medical experts say if you show any symptoms of heart disease, it’s best to get it checked by a doctor as soon as possible.