HEALTH PRO TIPS FOR FEBRUARY 2024
The best science, stories, and strategies related to this month’s national health themes. Check back throughout the month for new additions.
In February, the Network Celebrates...
American Heart Health
According to the 2024 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics: A Report of U.S. and Global Data from the American Heart Association, heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the U.S. for 100 years. More women than men die of heart disease every year, yet treatment for women is regularly delayed and their conditions are often misdiagnosed.
- Action Alert! February is American Heart Month – This is the 60th annual American Heart Month – a time when the nation spotlights heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans. Learn more about how to observe from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
- Heart Health For Women Frequently Asked Questions – Learn the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) that are specific to women and get answers to all your heart-related questions.
- The Most Common Cardiovascular Diseases in Women – Coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and problems with the heart valves are very common in women.
- How to Protect Your Heart with Diet and Lifestyle – What to eat and how to move from the American Heart Association, a heart healthy shopping list, and what it actually means to be active in a heart healthy way (it’s less work than you think!).
- When to Call 911 About Your Heart – The American Heart Association has put together cheat sheets for the most severe cardiovascular symptoms to watch out for.
- Heart Health by the Numbers – The American Heart Association recently released the latest data on heart health in the US, and some of these numbers will shock you.
- Printable Fact Sheets to Help You Take Care of Your Heart – Learn the Heart Smart basics, track your heart health, and get more active with the help of these handy fact sheets.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) & Low Vision Awareness
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that can blur your central vision. It happens when aging causes damage to the macula — the part of the eye that controls sharp, straight-ahead vision. AMD is a common condition — Approximately 20 million people in the United States have AMD, and it’s a leading cause of vision loss for older adults. As far as the rest of the population - over 75% of US adults need some form of vision correction.
- Action Alert! February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month– Putting out the right information about A.M.D. and low vision is important to promote early detection and cancel out whatever false beliefs may circulate about AMD and other kinds of vision impairment. Learn how to observe here.
- AMD 101 – The types, symptoms, risk factors, and treatment for AMD.
- The Most Common Adult Vision Problems – Learn about the different issues that could result in vision loss.
- Resources and Links for People with Low Vision – The American Academy of Ophthalmology has put together a list of books, assistive technology, vetted organizations, and research-backed self-help rehabilitation tools here.
- Organization Spotlight: The American Macular Degeneration Foundation - Here to help you learn about and live with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), offering you healthy living tips, the latest information, and ways to honor those touched by macular disease, while supporting researchers working to prevent, treat and cure macular degeneration
- Stories of People Living with Low Vision – Maculardegeneration.net has a robust stories archive, and this repository highlights inspiring stories of people living with vision loss.
Black History Month
Started in 1976, Black History Month is an annual celebration in February of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Read on to learn more about some inspiring Black leaders in health care past and present, as well as how much more work we have to do to make health care equitable for Black Americans.
- 38 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month in 2024 – We wouldn’t have thought of some of these.
- 8 Black Pioneers in Medicine and Healthcare You Should Know – Marilyn Hughes Gaston created a sickle cell disease screening program. Janke Cooke Wright was a chemotherapy pioneer. Learn more here.
- 3 Black-led Organizations Fighting for Healthier Moms and Babies – Angels Protection Inc., Birth In Color, and Trinity Wellness all work for reproductive justice in their local communities. They are also members of the NWHN’s 2024 HEALTH Program Cohort.
- Health Disparities for Black People: By the Numbers – KFF outlines the barriers Black people face accessing high-quality health care, and uses data to express the scope of the problem.
- Eliminating Explicit and Implicit Bias in Health Care: Evidence and Research Needs – This article from the NIH serves as an excellent primer into both conscious and unconscious bias in health care and what we can do about it. Want to know what your implicit biases are? Take the seminal Implicit Association Test on Harvard’s website.
- 45 Famous Black Women Leaving their Mark on History – Number five is an immunologist. Number seven started the Me Too movement. And then of course we have number fourteen, our current vice president. Get the full list here.
National Cancer Prevention Month
About 42% of cancer cases and 45% of cancer deaths in the United States are linked to modifiable risk factors – and thus could be preventable – according to a new study from American Cancer Society researchers. Learn more about how to celebrate cancer prevention month in February and reduce your risk.
- Cancer Prevention 101 – Learn about what prevention means exactly, risk factors, and known interventions that reduce cancer from the National Cancer Institute.
- Cancer Prevention Tips for Women – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has free available resources on cancer prevention specific to women and the types of cancer they are most at risk for.
- The 10 Commandments of Cancer Prevention – Harvard medical school lays out in simple terms these 10 research-backed ways to reduce your risk of cancer.
- The Cancers Most Influenced by Lifestyle Choices – Lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer were big contenders.
- Mapping Risk Factors to Cancer Types – In a recent study by the American Cancer Society, risk factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and excess weight were linked to different incidents of specific cancers.