WRNMMC, Bethesda, Md. –
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Directorate of Medicine/Cardiology Service’s staff members came together Feb. 2, 2024, wearing red in observance of National Wear Red Day and American Heart Month. “The Cardiology Service wants to highlight the month and raise awareness about heart disease prevention,” stated Joan LoepkerDuncan, chief nurse officer in charge of Cardiology Service.
A 2024 Presidential Proclamation regarding American Heart Month states, “Each year, heart disease takes the lives of nearly 700,000 Americans. It is the leading cause of death in our country. Too many of us are familiar with the pain of losing a loved one to a heart attack, stroke, or coronary heart disease. There is still hope, however: With the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and access to good health care, these conditions can often be prevented, and lives can be saved.”
The proclamation adds that “experts recommend everyone should learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke, and that they should consult a doctor if they experience risk factors or symptoms.”
When it comes to heart disease, lifestyle changes make a big difference across the lifespan, health care providers explain. These changes include eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains; physical activity (aiming for at least 150 minutes/two and a half hours each week); maintaining a healthy weight; getting quality sleep; not smoking; and reducing stress.