February is American Heart Month: What You Should Know

February 02, 2018

February is American Heart Month, and for over 60 years, Maine Medical Center has performed the most advanced cardiovascular treatments and procedures, while providing high-quality care to patients. Along the way, programs like AMI-PERFUSE, cardiac rehab and advanced valve have been added, making MMC cardiovascular services the most comprehensive in northern New England.

During Heart Month, we will be sharing cardiovascular tips, news and recognition – both with employees here, and the public at large – to make sure that no opportunity is missed to improve the cardiovascular health of our patients.

MMC’s Jennifer Monti, M.D., took part in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s annual Go Red for Women event at Portland’s City Hall on February 2. According to the AHA, cardiovascular diseases kill one woman about every 80 seconds, and about 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented. There is a genetic component to heart disease, but there is plenty you can control. Here are some of Dr. Monti’s tips for lowering your risk:

  • Exercise: The ideal 'dose' of exercise to prevent the development of a range of cardiovascular diseases is 150 to 210 minutes of
    exercise per week.
  • Diet: A balanced diet that derives the majority of its protein from plant-based sources is a great place to start.
  • Know Your Numbers: Total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, hemoglobin A1C and BMI. Discuss with your doctor how to improve them.
  • Quit smoking: Abstaining completely from smoking can fend off several varieties of cardiovascular disease.