Celebrating American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month and as a leading community-based network committed to improving the health of our nation, the Asian Health Coalition and its community partners are encouraging Asian Americans in Illinois to help prevent heart disease by lowering your blood pressure.  Heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death for Asian Americans. Additionally, 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure with less than half having it under control. High blood pressure is most prevalent in minority communities, and is often referred to as “The Silent Killer” because there are typically no warning signs or symptoms.

To address the prevalence of heart disease, the Asian Health Coalition (AHC) has teamed up with the American Heart Association to distribute culturally tailored posters in Chinese (download here). The posters are part of AHC’s cardiovascular disease self-management program called Your Health is Golden, an evidence-based program adapted from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) program of the same name. Your Health is Golden is currently offered in Chinese and Vietnamese at the Chinese Mutual Aid Association in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.  The program provides a supportive environment where participants work together in a small group to learn about eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and making other behavior changes with the goal of modifying behaviors  to reduce their risk for developing heart disease. Trained community health workers leads the program over a  beginning with an initial health screening and 6 weekly group sessions,  followed by another health screening after 4 months. Increased physical activity and moderate weight loss not only reduce cardiovascular disease risk, but also have an impact on lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

We are continually looking for new participants for this program. Support for the AHC’s Your Health is Golden program has been made possible with a generous community grant from the Ravenswood Health Care Foundation.  Please contact Katherine at (312)372-7070 or email katherine@asianhealth.org for more information.