Know Your Risk Factors and Prioritize Your Health During American Heart Month

From ALLtech medical provider Regence BlueShield

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Although heart disease can affect anyone, women are particularly at risk. Many women are unaware of the risk factors for heart disease, which makes them more vulnerable. In fact, the symptoms of a heart attack are different for women and knowing how to spot them could save lives.

February is American Heart Month — a time to reflect on and bring awareness to the widespread impact of heart disease across the country. This includes National Wear Red Day on Feb. 4 when the American Heart Association (AHA) helps encourage women in particular to take charge of their heart health.

For Tonya Adams, Regence’s senior vice president of customer experience and operations and long-time supporter of AHA, this year’s American Heart Month is particularly personal. In June of 2021, her mother passed away from a stroke, an unexpected loss of a loved one who Tonya describes as the person who took care of everybody — and yet her mother ultimately didn’t do enough to take care of herself. Watch the video below to hear more of Tonya’s story.

Take charge of your heart health

Family medical history is a key risk factor for both heart disease and associated symptoms like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Make sure you know about your family’s health history and talk with your primary care provider (PCP) about your personal heart health during your annual physical.

Nearly 80% of cardiac events can be prevented by making small lifestyle changes like moving more, eating healthy and managing blood pressure. Health plans also offer wellness tools and other resources, including the Regence Empower well-being platform that’s available to most members. Experts on offer self-care resources and wellness tips, and those who need extra support may reach out to Regence’s care management team.

Regence and the AHA look forward to raising heart health awareness throughout the month of February and beyond.