Leading cause of death is preventable
By Margaret Richman
Margaret Richman photo
Mary Reszczynski (right), APNP with Affinity Medical Clinic-Kiel, continues to work hard to educate women that the leading cause of death among females is heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, yet preventable.

As February American Heart Month wraps up their annual health promotion, Mary Reszczynski, APNP with Affinity Medical Clinic-Kiel, provides a reminder of healthy heart maintenance and myths associated with heart disease.

“Many people still think that breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women, yet heart disease is the number-one killer,” Reszczynski said.

The American Heart Association states that annually one in 31 women will die of breast cancer while heart disease will claim the lives of one in three. Heart disease statistics in Wisconsin are comparable to those across the U. S.

“The numbers are staggering and sadly preventable with proper awareness and education. One must know their risk factors and see their healthcare provider minimally one time per year to maintain optimal health. Risk factors of high cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes, and excess weight should be addressed early on for the prevention of heart disease. A person in their 20s with a combination of those risks is as vulnerable to heart issues as is an elderly person,” Reszczynski said.

The American Heart Association is an advocate of education and cites that promotion of healthy choices has resulted in lessening the annual death rate. But promotion of awareness and self-responsibility for controlling one’s risk factors is a continuous need.

Reszczynski encourages everyone to be a good steward to their physical being. “We work with our patients on strategies whether it is lifestyle changes or medications to reduce their risks, monitor their progress, and set goals. We have the option to refer to our nurse specialist, Ann Rusch, RN, who provides in-depth teaching and counseling to our patients with chronic illnesses including heart disease,” she said.

Mary also emphasizes that although family history of heart disease is not a modifiable factor, a person can still take steps to reduce their own risks.

The Affinity Medical Clinic-Kiel is located at 632 Fremont St. Appointments with Mary Reszczynski, APNP or Michael Hetzner, DO can be made by calling 894-3322.

Calumet Medical Center provides free Healthy Heart Screenings. Cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure screenings are conducted on the second Wednesday every other month with the next screening on Wednesday, March 12, 6:30 to 10:30 a. m. To register call Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900.