Student Life

SAU Becomes Heart Health Advocates

The World Health Organization suggests that diabetes, a condition that will most likely lead to heart problems, will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. The National Institutes of Health explains that diabetes is increasing in people under the age of twenty. St. Ambrose University’s students, staff, and faculty celebrate American Heart Month this February. The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association are recognizing all different types of heart diseases that Americans have and the extremely high amount of people who are affected by it. 

The St. Ambrose community has been advocating heart health by spreading awareness and taking action to prevent heart disease. Many students, staff, and faculty members showed their support for preventing heart disease by wearing red on Feb 3, 2023. This day celebrated ‘Wear Red For Women’ because heart disease is the number one cause of death.

The World Health Organization provided the SAU community with eye-opening facts that can determine the future if people do not do something about it now. “In the USA over 500,000 young people will have type 1 or type 2 diabetes by 2060. Type 2 diabetes in young people will jump 700% by 2060 according to the CDC.”

Diabetes is strongly featured throughout American Heart Month as heart diseases and diabetes are closely connected. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, diabetes is caused when a person has high sugar levels for a long length of time. St. Ambrose University’s nurse, Nancy Hines explained the connection between the two. “High blood glucose from diabetes can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. ” 

Many aspects that can lead to heart disease can be scary but there are lots of simple ways to prevent heart disease that people can do right on the SAU campus. Ann Garton, an associate professor in the nursing program at SAU and the director of the Institute for Person-Centered Care explained, “There are so many things every single one of us can do to prevent heart disease, and if we do them in small steps and hardwire them into our daily practice, we can be successful! Other things our own community can do is join exercise groups hosted in the WRC Field House, choose one additional healthy meal a week, quit smoking or vaping, and find ways to manage stress. Our counseling services also have great tools to share!”

St. Ambrose’s Wellness and Recreation Center is a resource that all SAU students, staff, and faculty can use to maintain fitness and lower the chance of developing the different types of heart diseases. Eryn Cornwell, a freshman softball player uses the Wellness and Recreation Center daily. “At St. Ambrose University, we are blessed with a high-quality Wellness and Recreation Center. It is important as an athlete to not only continue to maintain fitness but also to ensure you are taking care of your body properly.”

American Heart Month is a big and important event that occurs the entire month of February and the SAU community is highlighting the importance of heart disease and the dangerous effects that can occur for everyone nationwide.