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From the Publisher

From the NFH Team

February is American Heart Month, thanks to the American Heart Association’s championing of the cause. In 1963, the AHA asked Congress to adopt February as heart month. What better month to think about the heart than the month of Valentine’s?Other than the usual flowers and candy that we associate with the holiday, the heart also needs our tender loving care. According to the American Heart Association’s latest available statistics (from 2006), heart-related diseases are America’s No. 1 killer. In 2006, 34.3 percent of all deaths were attributed to heart disease, claiming a whopping 831,272 lives. And heart disease is not just for the old. A surprising 151,000 of that total number were Americans under the age of 65.If these statistics seem overwhelming, take heart! From 1996 to 2006, the death rate from coronary heart disease actually declined by 36.4. This is no small feat and must indicate that folks are taking better care of their hearts. Reducing stress and healthier lifestyles overall could certainly be the biggest contributing factors.In her February column, Kandi Buckland from the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment points out that the death toll from heart disease is higher for women than men. In keeping with a good heart, the department has initiated a no-cost Wise for Life program specifically designed to assist women in changing their lifestyles for better heart health. Buckland lists warning signs of heart attacks in women (usually different than for men) in this month’s column.Kathy Wallace writes about the U.S Preventative Services Task Force 2009 controversial study on mammograms affecting women. This group managed to turn current mammogram guidelines on its head and left everyone, including doctors and their patients, wondering what constitutes the best screening practices.Natalie Gowen gives us some tips on filing tax returns. It’s not too early, even for us procrastinators.Good news is always welcome, especially when it involves growth during a time of recession and hesitation on the part of builders and investors. Kathy Wallace looks at two new signs of growth – Armonia Ranch with 5-acre lots zoned for horse pasturing; and an airpark to make every private pilot’s dream come true.Have a great February and take care of your heart!Note from Michelle:We’re sorry to say goodbye to Stefani Wiest, who has been editing the NFH for about the last two years. Prior to that, Stefani had been writing for us almost from the beginning. Stefani’s husband has accepted a job north of Denver, and they’ll be moving. A big thanks to Stefani for all she’s done for the NFH. We’ll miss you, Stefani.And we want to welcome back Deb Stumpf, who will resume coordinating editing duties. Deb has been working for the NFH for five years in a variety of capacities so it’s a smooth transition. Thanks Deb!-Deb, Michelle and the NFH Team

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