February is American Heart Month and Wyoming’s State Health Officer Dr Wendy Braund says it's a good time to consider how lifestyle choices help or hurt our heart’s ability to do its job.

"Eating healthier foods and avoiding choices that are high in sodium and fat is very important. It's also very important to maintain an active life style."

Braund says narrowing and stiffening of blood vessels happen when plaque builds up. That's caused by cholesterol and fats and forces our hearts to work harder to keep blood flowing. Smoking and excessive alcohol don't help either.

She says in 2009 heart disease was the top cause of death in Wyoming with 937 deaths.