February marks the beginning of American Heart Month, during which healthcare organizations and providers spotlight the significance of public cardiovascular health and aim to raise awareness of risk factors, interventions, and disease prevalence. Today, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States, contributing to nearly 660,000 deaths each year. Although patient and provider education, medical care capabilities, and available therapeutics have expanded and improved over the years, the burden of heart disease persists.
While there are many known risk factors that can contribute to cardiovascular diseases – such as smoking, hypertension, obesity, and alcohol use – certain variables are easily modifiable with preventive measures and minor lifestyle interventions. One such important risk component is nutrition.