Retiree Benefits & Wellness Program
February is American Heart Month
Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s
disease,” it is the leading cause of death for both women and
men in the United States and is a major cause of disability. The
most common heart disease in the United States is coronary
heart disease, which often appears as a heart attack. In 2008,
an estimated 770,000 Americans will have a new coronary at-
tack, and about 430,000 will have a recurrent attack. About
every 26 seconds, an American will have a coronary event,
and about one every minute will die from one.
The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to
prevent and control factors that put people at greater risk. Additionally, knowing the signs
and symptoms of heart attack are crucial to the most positive outcomes after having a
heart attack. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk
of another heart attack or a stroke in the future. For more information on heart disease
and stroke, visit CDC’s “Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention” website
Diseases and Conditions That Put Your Heart at Risk
Other conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia,
heart failure, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabe-
tes, tobacco use, and secondhand smoke are also risk factors associated with heart disease. For a full
list of disease and conditions along with risk factors and other health information associated with heart
disease, visit the American Heart Association website.
Know Your Signs and Symptoms
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense; however, most heart attacks start slowly,
with mild pain or discomfort. Often, people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too
long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
• Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that
lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncom-
fortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or
both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
February is American Heart Month
• Shortness of breath. May occur with or without chest discomfort.
•Other signs. These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute have
launched a new “Act in Time” campaign to increase people’s awareness of heart attack and the impor-
tance of calling 9–1–1 immediately at the onset of heart attack symptoms. See “Act In Time To Heart
Attack Signs” website:
Healthy Lifestyle: Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and Fitness
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it
harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that
counts. As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these American Heart Association
recommendations, (see the website for additional information:
• Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans
fat such as butter or lard.
• Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
• Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
• Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
• Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
• Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day
(or less than 1,500 mg if you are in a higher risk group for high blood pressure).
• If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a
woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
• Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on
your portion sizes. See website for recommendations:
Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. See the website for
information on how to take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase your physical
Attention: Multnomah County Retirees,
Are you thinking about springtime and warmer weather? Wondering if last year’s summer clothes will fit? If
the answer is yes, would you be interested in participating in a 13-week series of Weight Watchers meetings,
to be held at the Multnomah Building location (501 SE Hawthorne Blvd), from 11:30am - 12:30pm, on
Wednesday’s? The group of county employees, who recently finished their participation in the Weight
Watcher’s At Work Program meeting series, met with great success – losing 149.80 pounds over the 13-
week period. We would like to keep this opportunity available as Weight Watchers is a proven reasonably
priced program that produces real results and helps participants learn methods to maintain a healthier
lifestyle and weight.
This Weight Watcher’s At Work Program offer consists of private pre-paid meetings that are specifically
designed for the convenience of working and/or busy men and women. The first part of each meeting
involves a private weigh-in and the remainder of the meeting is spent in discussion, goal setting and motiva-
tion building. A minimum of 18 persons must be pre-registered to attend these Weight Watchers meetings,
in order to get the series of meetings started. The per person cost of the 13-week series of Weight Watchers
meetings is $169.00 which is payable at the orientation/registration meeting. Weight Watchers will allow you
to write three checks of $56.33, however, all three checks will be collected at the orientation/registration
meeting. One check will be deposited the first week and the next two checks will be deposited on the same
day of the following two months.
This offer is open to existing county employees, retirees and an immediate family member (e.g. spouse,
domestic partner, parent, or adult child – 18 years of age or older). If you are interested in registering to
participate in a 13-week series of Weight Watchers meetings, by or before Wednesday, February 20
complete the form below and promptly mail or fax the form to:
Regular Mail:Multnomah County Wellness Program Fax Number: 503-988-6257
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Suite 400
Attn: Multnomah County Wellness Program
Portland, Oregon 97214
If the Countywide Wellness Program office is successful in obtaining the minimum number of interested
persons (18) that will register for this Weight Watcher’s At Work Program 13-week meeting series – the
specific dates for this Weight Watchers offer can be scheduled. Only persons interested in registering for
this offer will receive notification about the orientation/registration meeting and other specifics. If you have a
question regarding this information, please contact the Wellness Program by or before Wednesday,
, at (503) 988-5015 Extension 24319.
If a family member will be registering with you, please list their name:
Family Member: ______________________________________________________
Registration/Information Request Form
All classes/activities are open to all employees, retirees and those covered by their benefits. Persons requiring accommodations for classes, call
(503) 988-5015 x24319 or (TDD) (503) 988-5170, during business hours at least two working days prior to the event.
Multnomah County Retiree Benefits & Wellness Program
501 SE Hawthorne, Suite 400
Portland, OR 97214