Heart disease, or coronary disease, is the leading cause of death in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lebanon County’s rate of coronary disease is above the state average.
What is Coronary Disease?
Coronary disease, also known as coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. Plaque is made up of cholesterol deposits that can accumulate in the arteries causing the arteries to narrow over time, which is called atherosclerosis.
Plaque buildup can cause the most common symptom of angina, chest pain or discomfort because the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood. Over time, coronary disease can weaken the heart muscle leading to heart failure and irregular heartbeats. For some the first sign of coronary disease is a heart attack that occurs when plaque totally blocks an artery carrying blood to the heart or if a plaque deposit breaks off and clots a coronary artery.
What can I do to help prevent Coronary Disease?
Living a healthier lifestyle can help to prevent heart disease. This includes the following:
- Eliminate all tobacco products
- Stick to a heart-healthy diet
- Follow an appropriate exercise program
- Manage your weight
- Eliminate as much stress as possible
Learn more about preventing cardiovascular disease.
Are there educational resources on heart health or classes to stop smoking held in Lebanon County?
Each February during Heart Month, WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital presents the Love Your Heart educational programs on heart health. Free smoking cessation classes are also offered through WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital. To find the current class schedule, CLICK HERE and choose “Lebanon” and search for “Smoking”.
How can I become more active?
Heart-healthy activity can be as simple to incorporate into your lifestyle as taking a brisk walk. The American Heart Association recommends getting 10,000 steps each day. Take every opportunity to add activity to your day by parking farther away and walking or taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, in partnership with the Lebanon Valley Mall, offers the Healthy Steps program,where you can walk inside the climate-controlled mall no matter what the weather is outside. There are also numerous events for those looking for more activity like the Give Thanks for Lebanon 5K/10K event held by WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital and the Lebanon Valley YMCA each November.