Heart Health and the Impact on Chronic Wounds

Heart Health and the Impact on Chronic Wounds

Your heart affects every aspect of your health – including your ability to heal wounds. Your heart circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. Cardiovascular diseases damage blood vessels and cause blockages that obstruct the flow of blood. This decreased blood flow hinders the delivery of oxygen and nutrition needed for proper wound healing.

Currently, 48 percent of American adults – 21.5 million people – suffer from cardiovascular diseases including Coronary Artery Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

There are more than 8 million Americans currently living with a chronic wound, and most of them have 3 to 4 other chronic conditions including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. These people are at high risk for complications without proper wound care. An unhealed wound on the foot or leg can lead to amputation. In fact, 82% of lower leg amputations are due to poor circulation of the affected limb.

The American Heart Association aims to reduce amputations 20% by 2030 through increased peripheral artery disease awareness, diagnosis and early intervention of cardiovascular-related wounds. It’s a mission that the Wound & Hyperbaric Healing Center at Windom Area Health and Healogics are proud to share. You can take steps to prevent conditions that may affect the health of your heart and proper wound healing. The Wound & Hyperbaric Healing Center offers the following tips to live a heart healthy life.

Eat Healthy: Low-fat, high-fiber foods are good for your heart. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains every day.

Be Active: Walk, run, dance, swim – find a way to get moving for at least 30 minutes every day. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Take Care: Be kind to yourself. Practice positive self-talk. Make sleep a priority. Reduce stress with fun hobbies. Stop smoking and all use of nicotine.

Get Screened: See your healthcare provider at least twice a year. Ask about screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.

If you or someone you know is living with a cardiovascular disease, it is especially important to detect wounds early. Check your feet regularly for any sores or wounds and seek specialized wound care to prevent possible infection, hospitalization and amputation due to poor circulation. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the Wound & Hyperbaric Healing Center at 507-831-0686 today!

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