Many people may not be aware of the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. It’s estimated that heart disease will cost the US $316.4 billion in 2010—a figure that includes the costs of health care, medication, and lost productivity.
One of the most promising treatments for heart disease is prevention. Having a sound strategy for combating heart disease will also ward off other chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis and ongoing lower back pain. Even if you have the unhealthiest of habits, scientists state that the body’s remarkable ability to heal allows you to avoid future illnesses through lifestyle changes.
Heart healthy facts:
Exercise and diet are crucial components in avoiding heart disease. Here are some heart healthy facts that you may not be aware of:
- Consuming eight ounces of fish on a weekly basis can potentially cut the risk of stroke in half.
- Being 30 pounds or more over your ideal weight significantly increases your chance of having heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
- Once you quit smoking, your blood vessels and coronary tissues will respond quickly, and your risk of heart disease will drop.
- Even small changes, such as increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and exercising more can improve your health and reduce risk.
- Dark chocolate (in moderation) contains a rich source of substances known as antioxidants that can combat heart disease.
Heart Disease Risk Factors:
Studies have shown that nine out of ten patients suffering from heart disease have at least one of the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cigarette Smoking
- Physical Inactivity
- Alcohol Use
- Poor diet and nutrition
Do you have questions about the risk factors of heart disease? If so, I’m happy to address them in the comments.
About Jefferson Baer, MD, MPH:
Dr. Baer, the Director of Preventative Cardiology at Emory University Hospital Midtown, specializes in preventive cardiology. His areas of clinical interest include cholesterol metabolism, novel cardiovascular risk factors, and novel methods for the detection of coronary disease. Dr. Baer has been published in The American Journal of Cardiology , The Journal of Clinical Lipidolog, Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine and the Journal of Infectious Diseases.