Are you at risk for heart disease? Learn more at LMH Health event

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, causing one in four deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reduce your chance of developing heart disease by knowing your risk factors and modifying those you can.

It is important to find out your cholesterol numbers. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high.

Lowering cholesterol lessens the risk of developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack. Knowing and improving your numbers for heart health is a good idea. Having that information allows you to make choices to improve or maintain your health.

A variety of factors can affect cholesterol levels. You cannot control your age, family history or previous history of heart attack or stroke, but you can control other factors. Take action to control your diet, weight and level of exercise. Eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol can help lower your cholesterol level.

Being overweight is another risk factor for heart disease and also tends to increase your cholesterol. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL (“bad cholesterol”) and raise HDL (“good cholesterol”). It also helps you lose weight. The American Heart Association recommends being physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week.

For more information on protecting yourself against heart disease, visit the American Heart Association website at heart.org.

LMH Health Healthy Hearts Fair

Join us at the LMH Health Healthy Hearts Fair on Feb. 22 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. to celebrate American Heart Month this February and focus on your heart health

The LMH Health Lab will offer cholesterol screenings and total lipid profiles for $25. Find the registration form in the Lawrence Journal-World, at lmh.org/heart-fair or by contacting the LMH Health Lab at 785-505-2653. Be sure to abstain from food and drink for nine to 12 hours before your blood draw to ensure accurate results. Results for HDL and LDL, triglycerides and cholesterol ratios will be mailed to you. You can share these results with your health care provider.

You can also participate in free blood pressure, body mass index and finger-stick glucose screenings. Staff from LMH Health and community organizations will be there to answer your heart health questions. Members of the LMH Health Cardiac Rehabilitation staff will also be available to discuss ways you can incorporate more physical activity into your day.

— Allison Koonce is community outreach & engagement supervisor at LMH Health, which is a major sponsor of the Journal-World’s health section.

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