The key to preventing cardiovascular disease is to know your risk factors and learn how to manage them. Major risk factors for cardiovascular disease are divided into 2 categories: Risk factors that CAN be changed and risk factors that CANNOT be changed.
Major risk factors that can be changed are: tobacco smoking, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, being obese and overweight, and diabetes. Risk factors that cannot be changed are: increasing age, gender (males have a higher risk of having a heart attack than females), and heredity.
September is National Cholesterol Education Month and it is a good time for you to have a cardiovascular screening to learn your cardiovascular risk. Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is offering free screenings during the Month of September on Mondays at the office in Steamboat and Tuesdays at the office in Craig. Call Karla Larsen 875-1880 to schedule your free cardiovascular screening.
Cardiovascular screenings can identify your risk factors and potentially decrease or eliminate your risk. These screenings are recommended for anyone over the age of 20 with “normal-risk” once every 5 years. If you have any of the following identified risks, more frequent screenings may be recommended: total cholesterol higher than 200, males over age 45 and females over age 50, your HDL (good) cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL for men and less than 50 mg/dL if you are a female, or if you have other risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke.
Also, if you’re over age 20, you should have your blood pressure checked at least every 2 years if it is less than 120/80 mm. Your BMI (body mass index) should be checked at each healthcare visit and your waist circumference should be evaluated as needed. Your healthcare provider will also discuss smoking, physical activity and diet with you on each visit.
For more information log onto our web site www.blog.northwestcoloradohealth.org or call us at 970-824-8233 in Craig or 970-879-1632 in Steamboat Springs.
Vicki Barron, RN, AE-C
Community Health Educator
Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association