A quick look at the current health care calendar
September is the month when the days get noticeably shorter, the nights a little cooler. It's Labor Day and back to school. It's the first month of football, the last month of baseball and the time in the earth's rotation around the sun when summer officially transitions into fall. And when you look at the health care calendar, September is also National Cholesterol Education Month as well as National Healthy Aging Month.
National Cholesterol Education Month
Regarding cholesterol, keep the following facts in mind:
- Too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
- The majority of adults with high LDL ("bad") cholesterol don't have their condition under control.
- Lifestyle changes – exercise, no smoking, a healthy low-fat/high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables – is an essential part of managing cholesterol.
- If you are taking medication to help control cholesterol levels, follow your doctor's instructions and take the medication exactly as prescribed.
- High cholesterol does not have symptoms so screening (a simple blood test) is the key to detecting it.
If you don't know your cholesterol level or haven't had it checked within five years, let National Cholesterol Education Month be your reminder to get a screening as soon as possible.
National Healthy Aging Month
Although not everyone has a problem with cholesterol, aging is something that affects all of us, and some are a little further along the continuum than others. National Healthy Aging Month is a time set aside to look at the ways that adults, ages 50-plus, can improve their physical, mental, social and financial well-being. It's also a time to draw attention to the myths and negative stereotypes related to aging that persist from a time when retirement, given shorter life spans, didn't hold the many opportunities for growth and "re-invention" that exist now.
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