February is a month that commemorates many worthy subjects. One of them is National Heart Month celebrating the 50th anniversary of its creation by President Lyndon Johnson.
The American Heart Association brings attention to this problem by promoting the National Wear Red Day, this year on February 7th. Did you know that about 600,000 people die of heart disease (1 in every 4 deaths) in the U.S. every year, and that it is the leading cause of death for both men AND women (CDC “Heart Disease Facts”)? Also, did you know that the southeastern U.S. is known for two heart disease “belts”—the Stroke Belt and the Heart Failure Belt (American J. of Cardiology, 15 Mar 2011)? Although heart attacks and strokes are not common in younger people, they do occur, and everybody, young and old, should be aware of the symptoms. It’s never too early to develop heart-healthy habits. Some steps to get you started: 1) Stop smoking. NOW. 2) Avoid trans- and saturated fats, reduce sodium intake, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables; 3) Exercise; 4) Maintain healthy weight; 5) Manage stress. (April is Stress Awareness Month)
You may wonder how heart health fits in with the Library 101 column. Kelly Library has many resources that contain information on heart health. For example, the library subscribes to several databases that contain reliable information on medical topics: Alt Health Watch, Consumer Health Complete, Health Source: Consumer Edition, and Salem Health. If you want to read some heavy-duty medical journals, try searching BioOne, Health Source: Nursing / Academic Edition, Medline, and PubMed. You can find the list of databases on the library web page under Journal Articles and Databases. If you do a subject search on heart—diseases or a keyword search on wellness, you will find numerous print and electronic items in Kelly Library and its fellow HAL members. Also, websites such as those of the American Heart Association (http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/ ), Go Red for Women campaign (http://www.goredforwomen.org/), the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/ ), and the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/) contain accurate health information.
The library also has exercise DVDs, books on nutrition and exercise, and guides for outdoor hiking and biking.
So, take a look at some of Kelly Library’s resources, and check out the very informative display in the library lobby. Take care of that heart!