Focus on Heart Health this February with TRICARE
February is largely recognized for its relationship to Cupid and Valentine’s Day. However, February is also American Heart Month and the perfect time to take advantage of available preventive screenings for TRICARE beneficiaries.
Heart Disease is called the silent killer because it reveals no symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 600,000 people die from heart disease in the U.S. each year making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women. While these numbers are startling, there is hope. By taking an active role, beneficiaries can manage their care and minimize the effects of heart disease and its accompanying conditions.
For individuals currently living with heart disease, maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle is key to diminishing some of the effects of heart disease and improving heart health,” said Dr. Andrew Plummer, medical officer in TRICARE’s Clinical Support Division . “In terms of prevention and management of cardiovascular disease, it is essential to focus on adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle choices. This means exercising regularly, eating healthy options, and staying tobacco-free.”
TRICARE provides a variety of preventive health benefits to beneficiaries. When screening for risks for cardiovascular disease, blood pressure screenings are covered by TRICARE. Children are covered annually between the ages of three and six, and every two years thereafter. Blood pressure screenings are covered at a minimum frequency of every two years for adults. TRICARE also covers cholesterol testing every 5 years in adults age 20 and over, as recommended by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Beneficiaries should talk to their primary care manager (PCM) for more information on preventive screenings, and what their specific needs are in order to stay heart healthy. A full list of covered services is available online at www.tricare.mil/preventivecare.