Safety

It’s American Heart Month, and healthcare workers must practice what they preach

Hospital Safety Insider, February 8, 2018

Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

February is American Heart Month. The first American Heart Month, on the odd chance you were wondering, was instituted by President Lyndon B. Johnson in a joint resolution with Congress way back in 1964, when more than half of U.S. deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

While big strides have since been made in awareness, prevention and treatment, heart disease and stroke remain the two leading causes of death globally, per AHA.

Daily, healthcare workers witness firsthand how poor eating habits and other unhealthy lifestyle choices can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Yet, according to a 2015 study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, doctors and nurses suffer from heart disease, obesity, and diabetes only slightly less than the general population.

Healthcare workers are exposed to unique risks in their profession. Long-term radiation exposure increases the odds of cardiovascular disease. Nurses working rotating night shifts are more at risk than daytime counterparts. And research has shown that working more than 45 hours per week may increase the risk of a heart attack, too.

But that 2015 study suggested healthcare workers are influenced by the same societal and environmental factors that put the general population at risk.

"This," study author Dr. Anupam Jena told Reuters in 2015, "highlights the notion that nobody is fully immune to the factors that promote unhealthy lifestyle behaviors."

The AHA recommends seven "simple" steps for all Americans to improve their heart health. They are managing blood pressure, controlling cholesterol, reducing blood sug-ar, getting active, eating better, losing weight, and quitting smoking.

Healthcare workers know all this, but some still need to practice what they preach.
 



Want to receive articles like this one in your inbox? Subscribe to Hospital Safety Insider!

    Hospital Safety Center
  • Hospital Safety Center

    Improve compliance with hospital safety standards from The Joint Commission, OSHA, and other regulators with this...

  • Healthcare Life Safety Compliance

    Created exclusively for healthcare facility managers, plant operations professionals, and directors of engineering, this...

  • Hospital Safety Insider

    Stay on top of hospital safety requirements and best practices with our free, fast-paced weekly update.

  • Basic OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your outpatient...

  • Basic Dental OSHA Compliance Manual Kit

    Total compliance has never been easier. This one convenient package contains everything you need to ensure your dental...

Most Popular