Happy Heart Month

by: Kaitlyn Hoyer

Learn how to love your heart this month.

When we think about February we tend to associate it with Valentine's Day—but at Verdin, we’re challenging you to dedicate this month to loving your heart! February is American Heart Month and Dignity Health Central Coast is joining the American Heart Association (AHA) to encourage Americans to take a look at how they can improve their heart health.

In 2015 cardiovascular disease (CVD) killed more than 17.9 million deaths, and the AHA predicts that number will increase to more than 23.6 million death by 2030¹. Proactive heart health more important now than ever.

To help prevent heart disease, Dignity Health Central Coast provides an online assessment anyone can take to determine their general risk of heart disease. The Heart Health Risk Assessment is simple and easy to do.

The assessment asks for basic information and medical history it: determines your risk for heart disease, identifies your cardiovascular disease risk factors, and compares your actual age to your heart’s biological age. You will also get custom tips on how you can improve your heart health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is responsible for 25% of all deaths in America, and many people don't show symptoms of heart disease until it's too late. Men and women have different symptoms as well, so educating yourself will help you protect yourself and your loved ones.

Here are some health tips courtesy of Dignity Health²:

  • Stop Smoking. Smoking causes damage to your entire cardiovascular system. Quitting smoking immediately reduces your heart disease risk.
  • Eat Healthier. Help your heart and cholesterol by reducing your intake of sugar, fat, and salt.
  • Get Moving. Regular walks and exercise is important for your heart’s health.
  • Stay Calm and Rested. Manage your stress, and if you find yourself frequently overwhelmed, seek professional help. It is also important to make sure you are well rested and know the signs of sleep apnea which increases your heart disease risk. If you’re often tired even after resting, you may not be getting enough oxygen at night and should seek medical attention.
  • Stay Checked Out. Have regular appointments with your primary healthcare provider and have regular screenings of your cardiovascular health.

Dignity Health Central Coast offers advanced cardiac care services at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard.


  1. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics
  2. Dignity Health 7 Tips to Reduce Heart Disease Risk

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