Nurse forming a heart shape with her two hands.

American Heart Month: Cardiac Care

by Anja Grimes

February is recognized as American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about cardiac care, cardiovascular health and diseases. With the aim to educate individuals about the importance of maintaining a healthy heart, this month serves as a reminder that taking care of our cardiovascular system is crucial in leading a long and fulfilling life. In this blog post, we will delve into one of the most common cardiac conditions affecting millions worldwide—coronary artery disease—and discuss its symptoms, risk factors, and effective cardiac care.

To learn more and get ANCC-accredited nursing continuing education credits, take Wild Iris Medical Education’s Cardiac Care: Coronary Artery Disease CEU.

Nurse inspecting x-ray of her patients chest.

Understanding Coronary Artery Disease – Cardiac Care: Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a prevalent cardiovascular condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. This puts significant strain on the heart, compromising its ability to efficiently pump blood, leading to various symptoms and health issues.

CAD symptoms vary from person to person; some may experience mild signs like chest discomfort or shortness of breath, while others may not show any noticeable signs until a heart attack occurs. Understanding the risk factors associated with CAD is crucial for individuals to take necessary preventive measures and seek appropriate cardiac care.

Nurse listening to her patients heartbeat.

Risk Factors and Prevention  – Cardiac Care: Coronary Artery Disease

Several risk factors contribute to the development of coronary artery disease, some of which can be modified while others are beyond our control. Age, gender, and family history are non-modifiable factors; however, by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, we can minimize controllable risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and diabetes.

Preventing CAD involves making a conscious effort to improve heart health. Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and maintaining a healthy weight are essential for reducing the risk of CAD. Moreover, avoiding tobacco products, managing stress levels, and following medication regimens as prescribed by healthcare professionals are equally important to safeguard against this cardiac condition.

Elderly patient exercising outdoors.

Effective Cardiac Care and Treatment Options  – Cardiac Care: Coronary Artery Disease

Timely diagnosis and appropriate cardiac care management can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with coronary artery disease. Cardiac care for CAD may include a combination of lifestyle modifications, medications, and, in severe cases, surgical interventions.

Lifestyle adjustments are vital in managing CAD and reducing its progression. Regular physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can enhance cardiovascular health. A heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats is essential for preventing further arterial blockages.

Medications such as antiplatelet drugs, beta-blockers, statins, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors may be prescribed to control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and manage symptoms. In some cases, individuals might require invasive procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery to restore blood flow to the heart.


Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease, continue to pose significant health challenges globally. American Heart Month serves as a powerful reminder to prioritize our heart’s health and take proactive steps to prevent cardiac conditions. Recognizing the risk factors associated with coronary artery disease and proactively seeking cardiac care not only helps reduce the burden of the disease but also promotes a healthier and more fulfilling life. By embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle and seeking timely treatment and guidance, we can ensure that our hearts continue to beat strong.

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About Wild Iris Medical Education:

Wild Iris Medical Education, Inc., is a privately held, woman-owned company providing online healthcare continuing education. In 1998, we began offering online ANCC-accredited nursing continuing education courses and since then have expanded to provide CEUs for occupational therapists, physical therapists, paramedics, EMTs, and other healthcare professionals.

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