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February is American Heart Month

February Is American Heart Month
February Is American Heart Month 02:10

MIAMI - February is American Heart Month.

CBS News Miami is teaming up with HCA Florida Healthcare and OneBlood to help save lives.

There will be two blood drives on Thursday, February 29th, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

One will be held at HCA Florida Westside Hospital, at 8201 W Broward Boulevard in Plantation. The other will be at HCA Florida Aventura Hospital, at 20900 Biscayne Boulevard.

OneBlood said the need for blood transfusions in hospitals is around the clock, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That's why the need for blood donations is constant. Donating blood only takes a little of your time and you will literally be giving someone a second chance at life.

All donors will receive a OneBlood long-sleeved T-shirt, a $20 eGift card and wellness checkup.  

This month, part of the focus is on women's heart health

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke claimed more lives in 2021 than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined. From 2017 to 2020, 59 percent of non-Hispanic Black women had some form of cardiovascular disease, the highest of any race or ethnicity.

Some things can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

  • Smoking.
  • Not getting enough exercise.
  • Eating poorly.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
  • Lack of sleep.

About one in 16 women aged 20 and older have coronary heart disease. African American and Hispanic women typically have higher rates of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, all of which increase the risk of heart disease.

"The most important thing women should realize about their heart is they are subject to the same diseases that men are, although they occur a bit later. They should not diminish their symptoms. They should not, if they are feeling different than their baseline level of function for a period of time, they should recognize something is wrong. I think women should know their cholesterol, they should know their blood pressure, they should know their heart rate, and should prioritize exercise and heart health as much as men do," said cardiac surgeon Dr. Allan Stewart

He added that stress also plays a role. 

"Women should monitor first their level of stress. Women tend to have more stress than men. They're not only managing a career but oftentimes managing a family and a home. As such they tend to not prioritize their health. This is why men have more heart attacks but women have more fatal heart attacks. They tend to downplay their symptoms because they've got too much to do during the day to go to the doctor or go to the hospital," he said.

Click here to donate now and click here to message your donor.  

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