World Heart Day: A Reminder to Prioritize Your Cardiovascular Health
September 29th is World Heart Day, an international event aimed at raising awareness about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). CVD is the leading cause of death worldwide and accounts for over 20 million lost lives every single year .
Additionally, heart disease costs the American healthcare system $216 billion annually. It also causes companies to lose $147 billion in productivity each year .
Thankfully, through balanced living, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing a CVD or experiencing another heart-related condition, such as a stroke. For World Heart Day, we’re unpacking the causes of CVDs, some preventative precautions and how to monitor and treat them, should you develop one.
What Are the Main Risk Factors That Lead to Heart Disease?
There’s a wide range of CVDs that people can develop and, similarly, many causes that contribute to heart-related illnesses. Genetics, for instance, has been identified as a potential factor in developing conditions such as :
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
- Congenital heart disease (malformation of the heart during fetal development)
- Cardiomyopathy (muscle-borne heart disease)
- Coronary artery disease (a leading cause of strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure)
Despite genetics contributing to these illnesses, you can significantly decrease your chances of developing such disorders by monitoring your lifestyle and prioritizing your health. The CDC lists several other, non-genetic risk factors that play a major role in people’s propensity to develop heart diseases, including :
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke
- Obesity, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle
Americans may be particularly prone to developing heart disease due to the prevalence of these lifestyle factors across the country. Nearly half of all adults in the USA deal with hypertension, while around 74% are overweight or obese .
So, with risk factors for CDVs and other heart-related conditions so widespread, how can you personally minimize your chances of developing such issues?
How to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease
Your heart is a muscle. Like your bicep or back, how well your heart functions largely depends on how you treat and train it. To maintain optimal heart health, consider following these key recommendations for living a cardio-conscious life :
- Regulate your diet – The link between hypertension and high sodium intake is widely known, but sugary sweets are likewise a common cause of obesity and CDV. Cut down on processed foods in favor of heart-helping alternatives, such as whole grains, legumes, and fruits.
- Get your body moving – There’s a reason it’s called cardio. Repetitive exercise that elevates your heart rate is highly conducive to weight loss, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. From walking to working in the garden, adults are recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Every activity counts—so, if it gets your heart beating, consider it cardio!
- Stop smoking – Smoking significantly increases your likelihood of developing heart disease. After just a year of quitting, however, your risk is cut in half. Even more promising? After 15 years smoke-free, your chances of developing a CDV will be the same as a non-smoker.
Even if you watch your health closely, it’s still possible to develop a heat-related illness. Fortunately, modern medical technology has made monitoring and treating heart-related illnesses far simpler than in the past.
Keep Tabs on Heart Health With Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a modern medical technique in which healthcare providers collect key health data from their patients remotely. RPM can help healthcare professionals keep track of a wide variety of CVD risk factors in their patients, including :
- Blood pressure
- Weight change
- Existing heart conditions
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
RPM is particularly important to cardiovascular health because CVDs and other heart-related illnesses are ongoing issues that require routine testing and care.
For instance, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) occurs when the heart has weakened and can no longer pump properly. This results in telltale symptoms such as fluid buildup in your lungs and legs .
RPM allows healthcare providers to keep tabs on such conditions, assess their development, and provide treatment and medication to help combat their progress.
Put simply, RPM makes it easier for patients with heart conditions to communicate with their providers and receive recommendations on how to live their healthiest possible lives.
The Cardiac Success Stories of Signallamp Health Patients
Below are some real stories of individuals who have been assisted with or saved from cardiac issues via RPM and CCM intervention. The patients’ names have been changed for privacy purposes, but their actions and those of their RPM and CCM nurses are unaltered.
Patient #1 — Anna
Anna was experiencing hypertension, which her RPM nurse was alerted to via her submitted hypotensive readings. Despite her documented cardiac conditions, she was often reluctant to take her afternoon medication on days when her heart rate was low. Unfortunately, this exacerbated her condition and led to an elevated heart rate at other times of the day.
Anna’s RPM nurse knew she needed to be diligent about her treatment, so they contacted her primary cardiologist to devise a solution. To mitigate her hypertension and get her back on an effective medication routine, Anna’s care team prescribed a new medicine regimen that has, so far, stabilized both her heart rate and blood pressure.
Patient #2 — Priscilla
Priscilla’s medication routine had recently been augmented to include a new diuretic but, unpleased with this change, she refused to stick to the treatment plan. Her CCM nurse took the time to educate her on the importance of the new medication, mentioning how her kidney and heart filter her blood and pull out excess toxins and fluids with its help.
Educated and satisfied, Priscilla now sticks to her care team’s prescribed treatment regimen. Her better understanding of her body’s own systems—thanks to the care and patience of her CCM nurse—now allows her to live a healthier, more informed life.
Patient #3 — Daniel
Like many cardiac patients, Daniel takes a variety of medications to manage his condition. He was certain, however, that Metoprolol wasn’t one of them—or, at least, it hadn’t been for a while. When his CCM nurse spoke to his pharmacy, they confirmed that, despite being prescribed the medication, he hadn’t been in to pick it up in over a year.
Daniel’s CCM nurse immediately flagged this issue and spoke directly to his cardiologist. They likewise confirmed that he should still be on Metoprolol for atrial fibrillations. They immediately issued a refill, which Daniel now takes routinely—while being fully aware not to stop unless instructed by a medical professional.
Patient #4 – Greg
Greg’s dog got out of the yard one day and he had to chase her down the block. This burst of activity left him short of breath and throbbing with chest pain. After this persisted for two weeks, his CCM nurse was finally alerted to the issue.
She quickly snapped into action and notified his provider. She told Greg to go directly to the Emergency Room, which he thankfully complied with. It turned out that Greg needed triple bypass surgery and, by sending him to the ER, his CCM nurse saved his life. Greg’s family is immensely grateful for her swift and decisive action.
Signallamp Health Supports Patients as They Maintain Their Heart Health
Signallamp Health specializes in Chronic Care Management (CCM), a branch of healthcare concerned with treating ongoing illnesses. Unfortunately, heart disease is among the most pervasive chronic disorders, and cardiovascular conditions can persist for years.
Thus, our attentive nurses work continuously with their patients to help them improve their heart health and live their lives to the fullest. Whether dealing with hypertension or CHF, Chronic Care Management through Remote Patient Monitoring allows our nurses to watch over patients’ blood pressure, weight, and other important factors as they manage their CVDs.
If your patients could benefit from a catered CCM routine and meticulous RPM, Signallamp Health is here to support their cardiovascular health. After all, home is where the heart is; and, with a CCM plan from Signallamp, your patients’ hearts can be healthier and happier in their own homes.
 “OUR GOAL IS TO STOP THE WORLD’S BIGGEST KILLER.” World Heart Federation. [Online] Available: https://world-heart-federation.org/. [Accessed July 16, 2023]
 “Heart Disease and Stroke” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 8, 2022. [Online] Available: https://www.cdc.gov/. [Accessed July 16, 2023]
 “Inherited Cardiac Conditions (Genetic Disorders).” University of Ottawa Heart Institute. [Online] Available: https://www.ottawaheart.ca/. [Accessed July 16, 2023]
 “How to take care of your heart health.” World Health Organization. February 14, 2020. [Online] Available: https://www.who.int/. [Accessed July 16, 2023]
 “Telehealth and remote patient monitoring.” Health Resources and Services Administration. May 11, 2023. [Online] Available: https://telehealth.hhs.gov/. [Accessed July 16, 2023]
 “Other Conditions Related to Heart Disease.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. March 21, 2023. [Online] Available: https://www.cdc.gov/. [Accessed July 19, 2023]