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    NMCSD: Prevention is key to healthy hearts



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Indra Beaufort 

    Naval Medical Center San Diego

    SAN DIEGO-At the Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Cardiology Department, staff wear handmade red fiber hearts on their uniforms daily during the month of February.

    February is American Heart Month, and the NMCSD staff wear the handmade hearts to raise awareness that a healthy heart links to a healthy life.

    “Every day is heart health,” said Cmdr. William Bennett, Naval Medical Center Cardiology Department head. “If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can develop heart disease.”

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic diseases and conditions such as heart disease, in addition to cancer, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems.

    “Prevention is the name of the game,” said Bennett. He then noted that early prevention is the key to a better heart and the way to fight disease to maintain a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

    One of the earliest steps to heart disease prevention begins at home. Bennett advices parents to model healthier behaviors to children such as eating nutritious foods and controlling food portion, in addition to regular exercise.

    “Kids with unhealthy lifestyle, when they start bad habits, they are harder to break,” said Bennett.

    Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Dhana McKinney said that during her time in the Navy she has seen patients with various heart conditions. McKinney said that common heart health issues have to do with diet and exercise.

    “That’s where I see a lot of problems,” said McKinney, as she references heart disease statistics that she has seen during hospital training sessions.

    “When you eat foods with high cholesterol content, they end up clogging your arteries; and if you don’t work out your heart, you won’t get used to heart rate increase.”

    According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States; it is an equal opportunity killer, which claims approximately one million lives annually.

    Bennett said that committing oneself to a healthier lifestyle in order to combat heart disease is not an easy choice, but it is a life-saving choice.

    “I think it’s important to bring in front of the consciousness the need to promote heart health, said Bennett. “Maybe it’s better to rededicate your efforts and try a little harder.”

    Bennett encourages patients to take advantage of some of the heart health experts at NMCSD, such as the Health and Wellness Department. At Health and Wellness, patients can meet with experts who can help design a healthier diet and better lifestyle choices.

    To set up an appointment or to attend any of the educational classes at NMCSD’s Health and Wellness Department, call (619) 532-6846.

    For more information on Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd, www.facebook.com/nmcsd, or www.twitter.com/NMC_SD



    Date Taken: 02.28.2018
    Date Posted: 02.28.2018 11:43
    Story ID: 267525
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

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