In February, when Valentine's Day focuses our attention on matters of the heart, health issues also should come to mind.
This is American Heart Month, designated to bring awareness to the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease is the cause of one-in-four deaths every year.
A frustrating reality: Many of these deaths could have been prevented with healthy choices.
Making a healthy choice seldom means making the easiest choice, particularly when it comes to food, stress and high blood pressure, which are the primary causes of heart disease.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease. Hypertension makes you four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to suffer a deadly heart attack. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 67 million Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
It is time to wake up, so that we can keep waking up.
You owe it to friends, neighbors, families and especially your Valentine to stop the madness. Increase your awareness and take action to minimize your risk. Get heart healthy.