Image of blood pressure reading with 174 systolic and 95 diastolic. Sitting on a chart showing a blood pressure trend going downward. Also in image is a pair of glasses and a bottle of medication.

When teaching classes on heart-healthy living, I commonly ask by show of hands, who has heart disease? Interstingingly, not everyone raises their hand. But then I ask a more pointed question. Who in this class has high blood pressure? Remarkably, many more people raise their hands. Years ago, this surprised me. However, I have come to realize there is a significant disconnect for many when discussing various chronic health conditions. This is why I love helping people better understand health and how their lifestyle impacts their health.

Image of wooden blocks spelling out Risk Factor with a blurred image of plants in the background

Could you be one of the six in ten adults living in the United States with at least one chronic health condition? Or are you one of the 40 percent living with at least two or more chronic health conditions? I hope that you fall into neither of these categories. However, I know there is a chance you may.

Pink heart cookies with frosting on them and a pink tulip. Extension logo and wordmark.

We will be pausing to celebrate American Heart Month on this month's destination as we travel together on our wellness journey. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death, not only in Illinois but across the nation. Heart disease is a general term referring to any condition affecting the structure or function of the heart. Examples include having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, having an abnormal heart rhythm, or having a weak heart.