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February 14, 2020 Education

If you worry that you or someone you love will get heart disease or even have a heart attack, it’s understandable.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Research shows you can lower your risk, particularly if you team up with family, friends or co-workers. This kind of social support may be the key to your success.

To mark American Heart Month, NHLBI, one of the National Institutes of Health, is inviting people across the country to team up and join #OurHearts, a national heart health initiative that encourages people to improve heart health together.

“Studies show that having positive, close relationships and feeling connected to others benefits overall health, blood pressure, weight and more,” said NHLBI’s Dr. David Goff, director of cardiovascular sciences.

Consider these five tips that can help lower your risk of heart disease:

Risk: Inactivity

Solution: Move more throughout your day. Aim for at least 150 minutes each week of physical activity. Build up to activity that gets your heart beating faster and leaves you a little breathless. If you’re busy, try breaking your daily activity into 10-minute chunks.

Stay motivated: Make walking dates. Join a pickup soccer or basketball game. Join a fitness class with your neighbor. Grab a loved one and dance in your kitchen.

Risk: An unhealthy diet

Solution: Consider an option like NHLBI’s Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is free and scientifically proven to lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Stay motivated: Invite friends to cook up heart-healthy recipes together. Start a lunch club at work and trade recipe ideas.

Risk: Smoking, even occasionally

Solution: Quitting can be beneficial to your overall health, even if you’ve smoked for years. Set a quit date and let those close to you know. If you’ve tried quitting in the past, consider what helped and what made it harder.

Stay motivated: Ask your family and friends for support or join a support group. Find resources and connect with a trained counselor at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or smokefree.gov.

Risk: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep

Solution: Sleeping 7-8 hours each night helps improve heart health. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting a 30-minute daily dose of sunlight may also improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Resist that late afternoon nap. Turn off all screens at a set time nightly. Relax by listening to music, reading or taking a bath.

Risk: Uncontrolled stress

Solution: To help manage stress, try relaxation therapy and increase physical activity. Talk to a qualified mental health provider or someone you trust. De-stressing may also help improve sleep.

Stay motivated: Join a friend or family member in a relaxing activity like walking, yoga or meditation every day.

Learn about heart health and heart-healthy activities in your community at nhlbi.nih.gov/ourhearts. Use #OurHearts on social media to share how you and your friends, colleagues or family members are being heart-healthy together.


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November 16, 2019 CommunityEducation

Be Antibiotics Aware is a national effort to help fight antibiotic resistance and improve antibiotic prescribing and use.

Antibiotics save lives, but any time antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects and lead to antibiotic resistance. In U.S. doctors’ offices and emergency departments, at least 47 million antibiotic prescriptions each year are unnecessary, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority.

Antibiotics only fight infections caused by bacteria. Like all drugs, they can be harmful and should only be used when necessary. Taking antibiotics when you have a virus can do more harm than good: you will still feel sick and the antibiotic could give you a skin rash, diarrhea, a yeast infection, or worse.

Antibiotics also give bacteria a chance to become more resistant to them. This can make future infections harder to treat. It means that antibiotics might not work when you really do need them. Becauseof this, it is important that you only use an antibiotic when it is necessary to treat your illness.

How can you help? When you have a cough, sore throat, or other illness, tell your doctor you only want an antibiotic if it is really necessary. If you are not prescribed an antibiotic, ask what you can do to feel better and get relief from your symptoms.

Your health is important to us. As your healthcare providers, we promise to provide the best possible treatment for your condition. If an antibiotic is not needed, we will explain this to you and will offer a treatment plan that will help. We are dedicated to prescribing antibiotics only when they are needed, and we will avoid giving you antibiotics when they might do more harm than good.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.


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June 25, 2018 Education

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of dementia that causes mental deterioration and the loss of cognitive abilities.  It is a progressive disease where symptoms slowly worsen over time, eventually leading to the individual’s inability to respond to their environment.  In the US, there are more than 3 million cases of Alzheimer’s per year, and the disease is the sixth leading cause of death. While treatment can help those suffering, the disease cannot yet be cured.  Efforts are being made worldwide, not only to find better treatment options but to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Memory Loss: The most common symptom of Alzheimer’s is memory loss.  In the beginning stages, it is typical for the individual to forget recently learned information.  As the disease progresses, it is common for old memories to begin to fade.

  2. Difficulty with Problem Solving: Some individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s may experience difficulties developing or following a plan.  It can become challenging to concentrate, and it may take the individual longer to complete tasks.

  3. Confusion: People with Alzheimer’s may lose track of time or forget dates.  They could have trouble remembering where they are and how they got there.

  4. Problems with Speaking: It may be difficult for a person with Alzheimer’s to join or follow a conversation.  They may struggle with remembering a name for something or call something by a different word completely.

  5. Changes in Personality:  The mood and personality of an individual suffering from Alzheimer’s can change.  They can be fearful or anxious in new places that are out of their comfort zone or even become upset around friends and family.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month.  Raising awareness is necessary to help find a cure for the devastating disease.  You can help join the fight to end Alzheimer’s by wearing purple or spreading the word through social media.  Spread awareness and change lives. For more information and to find other ways to contribute to the cause, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.


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