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Boscola Bulletin

American Heart MonthFebruary is American Heart Month a time for us to focus on our hearts and encourage our families, friends and communities to do the same.

The first American Heart Month, which took place in February 1964, was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 30, 1963. The Congress, by joint resolution on that date, has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.

Stay heart-healthy for good, Pennsylvania!

Did you know that about 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease?  That is about one every 40 seconds.  Cardiovascular disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined!

Heart Disease Can Happen at ANY Age

Heart disease doesn’t happen just to older adults - it is happening to younger adults more often.

High rates of obesity and high blood pressure among younger people (ages 35-64) are what is putting them at risk for heart disease in their earlier lives. Staggering statistic -- half of all Americans have at least ONE of the top three risk factors for heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking)!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death across the United States but did you know that 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable? Simply by taking control of your health and following healthy steps that include:

  • No smoking
  • Daily physical activity
  • Good nutrition by making heart-healthy choices
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – STAY ACTIVE!
  • Control blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels

Can You Recognize a Heart Attack?

Learn the heart attack warning signs to recognize in yourself and others – it could save a life.

1. Chest Discomfort: A sensation in the center of the chest that feels like
pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain. This can last more than a few minutes, or, go away and then return.

2. Upper Body Discomfort: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

3. Shortness of Breath: This may be accompanied by chest discomfort. Additional signs may include cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

If you experience any of these symptoms, do not to wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1 to ensure rapid treatment.

Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing

The Littlest Hearts HeartCongenital Heart Defects

Being a new parent is hard enough, I am sure of it, but being a new parent whose child has a heart that needs extra attention takes courage & strength. The word “congenital” means existing at birth. The terms “congenital heart defect” and “congenital heart disease” are often used to mean the same thing, but “defect” is more accurate.

This kind of heart ailment is a defect or abnormality, not a disease. A congenital heart defect (CHD) results when the heart, or blood vessels near the heart, don’t develop normally before birth.  Each year in February, the world turns its attention to CHD children and their families. Across the country and beyond, CHD families stand in unison to celebrate the lives of even the littlest hearts.

Nearly 40,000 infants are born with congenital heart defects each year in the United States. About 25 percent of babies born with a CHD require invasive treatment in their first year of life. Research that helps understand, identify, and treat CHDs is helping these children live longer, healthier lives. While medical advancements have improved over the years, many of these children and their families still face a lifetime of challenges. Today, it is estimated that more than 800,000 American adults are living with a CHD.

The Children’s Heart Foundation is the country’s leading organization solely committed to funding congenital heart defect (CHD) research. The Children’s Heart Foundation’s mission is to fund the most promising research to advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects. To date, The Children’s Heart Foundation has funded more than $13 million dollars of CHD research and scientific collaborations. For more information or to join the cause, visit

Obese Children Have Greater Risk for Adult Heart Disease

Obesity in youth (and adults) is at an all-time high, youth are being diagnosed with heart disease earlier than ever and people just ZIP codes apart can live 25 years less than their neighbors because of disparities in health.

Strong evidence shows the increase in childhood obesity has led to significant increases in heart disease risk factors, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, according to the World Heart Federation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015–2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school-age children and young people aged 6 to 19 years in the United States has obesity.  
Many factors contribute to childhood obesity, including, but not limited to:

  • Genetics
  • Metabolism
  • Eating and physical activity behaviors
  • Community and neighborhood design and safety
  • Sleep patterns
  • Negative childhood event /experiences

Move Your WayAs we know, genetics cannot be changed. However, people and places can play a role in helping children achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Changes in the environments where young people spend their time—like homes, schools, and community settings—can make it easier for youths to access nutritious foods and be physically active. 
Steps our youth can take to start living a healthier lifestyle are:

  • Rethink the drink - Calories in drinks are not hidden (they’re listed right on the Nutrition Facts label), but many people don’t realize just how many calories beverages can contribute to their daily intake.
  • Increase Physical Activity – ‘Move Your Way to 60 Minutes a Day’ – kids should be shooting for 60 minutes of physical activity each day to obtain maximum mental and physical well-being!
  • Make sure kids are getting enough sleep – good sleep quality is essential is supporting healthy brain function & maintaining physical health.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
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Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
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