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It's American Heart Month — Take charge of your health and increase awareness of heart disease.

Did you know that heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States? The good news, according to The American Heart Association, is that 80 percent of heart-related issues may be prevented with education and action. That's why February is dedicated American Heart Month to raise awareness about the risks of heart disease and how it can be prevented.

Heart disease is a condition that occurs when the blood vessels become narrowed or blocked causing a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or chest pain. Early detection is the best way to treat and manage heart disease, but there are things you can do on your own to manage or lower your risk of developing it.

  • Eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains
  • Exercise
  • Keep diabetes under control
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit tobacco products

The most important thing you can do is visit your doctor on a regular basis to have your cholesterol and blood pressure levels checked. If you are concerned about heart disease, contact your physician.

Additional health and wellness information
If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about heart disease.

To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Wellness" tab and type "heart" in the search field. For more information on your Highmark member website, read How to Register on Your Highmark Member Website.