NORTH CONWAY, NH – Chronic wounds affect approximately 6.7 million people in the United States. If left untreated, chronic wounds can lead to a diminished quality of life and possibly amputation of the affected limb. The cost to treat these wounds exceeds $50 billion annually. While there are several factors that can affect wound healing, heart health is one of the most important.
Coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and other issues with the heart and vessels can cause obstructions that hinder the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrition to the wound. Cholesterol, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure can also affect the health of your heart.
Coronary artery disease, also known as ischemia, is when plaque grows within the walls of the coronary arteries until the blood flow to the heart is limited. Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that develops when the arteries that supply blood to the internal organs, arms and legs become completely or partially blocked as a result of atherosclerosis.
To avoid these conditions, it is important to keep your heart healthy. The Wound Care Center at Memorial Hospital offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life.
- Live an active lifestyle with 30 minutes of exercise on most days.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco of any kind as it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Eat a diet that is heart-healthy. This includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other low-fat sources of protein.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. All of these chronic conditions can lead to heart disease.
- Ensure you get quality sleep by making it a priority in your life. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Manage your stress in a healthy way with positive self-talk, using stress stoppers, doing things you enjoy, and relaxing on a regular basis.
- See your healthcare provider for regular screenings. This includes blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screenings.
For more information about how your heart health can affect wound healing, contact the Wound Care Center at Memorial Hospital at 603-356-5461, or visit them online at www.memorialhospitalnh.org.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, family birthing center, sleep center, wound care and hyperbaric medicine center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services and the Miranda Center for Diabetes. Physician practices include primary care and family medicine, women's health, orthopedics and sports medicine. The Merriman House, a 45-bed nursing home specializing in Alzheimer's and other memory disorders, is also located on the hospital campus. Together, our staff and providers are committed to meeting the health needs of the Mt. Washington Valley and surrounding communities by collaborating with community partners in the delivery of accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care.