February is American Heart Month

Oklahoma Businesses Encouraged to Reduce Heart Attack and Stroke Risk

Friday, February 1, 2013



Heart disease is one the leading killers in Oklahoma, claiming an estimated 12,600 lives in 2012. Chronic health conditions burden businesses, impact our economy and drive up the cost of healthcare. OFMQ calls Oklahoma businesses to take part in preventing heart disease this American Heart Month by supporting the nationwide Million Hearts™ campaign. Million Hearts™ is a nationwide effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes.

 “Heart disease continues to be a major issue – for both men and women – with Oklahoma ranking 48th in the country,” said Dr. Glenn Lytle, OFMQ’s medical director. “People can lower their risk, and Million Hearts™ can help people make heart healthy choices and take the right steps if they need treatment,” he said.

Public support for Million Hearts™ is growing, and OFMQ is leading a push to increase awareness and support in Oklahoma among health care and public health professionals, Native American tribes, industry, government and the public. OFMQ works in partnership with physicians and others in Oklahoma to improve preventive care for chronic disease.

Following are some recommendations to help people 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 most days of the week.
  • Know your ABCS:
    • Ask your doctor if you should take an Aspirin every day.
    • Find out if you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment.
    • 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.
  • Remember Medicare covers certain screenings and doctor visits for preventive heart care. Find details at www.medicare.gov. Go to What Medicare Covers, then Preventive Services.

According to the latest State Health Rankings Report*, Oklahoma is 48th in the nation in deaths from cardiovascular disease. However, the state’s overall health ranking improved, moving from 46th to 43rd.