Did you know that, every year, approximately 600,000 people die from heart disease? That equates to 1 in every 4 deaths being related to heart disease!
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Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack and every minute, someone dies from a heart disease related issue. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death, for both men and women, in the United States. Alone, coronary heart disease costs the United States $108.9 billion dollars each year! Now, those are some alarming statistics. Let’s take a look at what exactly heart disease is, the risk factors that you should be aware of, and some tips you can follow to help you reduce your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is a broad term that is used to describe several problems that are associated with plaque buildup that occurs in the artery walls, or atherosclerosis. Terms such as cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease are used interchangeably with heart disease. When plaque keeps building up in the artery walls, the arteries become too narrow causing a restriction of blood flow to the heart, which creates a risk for heart attack and/or stroke. Other types of heart disease include:
• Heart Attack
• Heart Failure
• Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
There are three main risk factors for heart disease and these are: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking. Approximately half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these risk factors. There are also lifestyle choices as well as several other medical conditions that can put individuals at high risk for heart disease. These include:
• Overweight and Obesity
• Poor diet
• Lack of physical activity
• Excessive alcohol use
Some individuals are at higher risk for heart disease than others. By reducing and/or eliminating as many of the risk factors, all individuals can cut back their risk of developing heart disease!
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