Heart Disease Facts:
Heart disease is #1 cause of death in the United States.
- One of every three deaths in the U.S. are from heart disease.
- One of every three people in the U.S. have obesity.
- In the US, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
- Heart disease costs top $200 billion each year in the U.S. alone.
What is Heart Disease?
Arteries and blood vessels carry important nutrients, blood, and oxygen to our heart. Our heart needs these things in order to keep working. Heart conditions occur when plaque develops in these arteries and blood vessels. Plaque build-up happens gradually and eventually begins to narrow and restrict your arteries thus causing your heart to receive less nutrients, blood, and oxygen.
At first, this restricted flow to the heart might not cause any symptoms, resulting in many people continuing their way of living…not realizing they are slowly walking towards death. Heart disease can be called a silent killer for this very reason. The plaque builds and builds in the arteries over time until it is too late…often times, there were no obvious symptoms prior to a heart-related death.
Although heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults, it is largely preventable and treatable. Genetic factors can increase your risk, but unhealthy lifestyle choices play an even bigger role.
Living a sedentary lifestyle and not getting enough physical exercise; eating an unhealthy diet that’s high in fat, trans fats, sugar and sodium; smoking; excessive drinking; staying in a high-stress environment without proper stress management; and not managing diabetes are all lifestyle choices that can greatly enhance your odds.
You should talk to a doctor about getting checked for heart conditions and disease if you:
- Have obesity – a BMI of 30 or more – check your BMI here
- Have diabetes, pre-diabetes or symptoms of diabetes
- Have high cholesterol and blood pressure
- Have a family history of heart conditions
- Are physically inactive and have an unhealthy diet
- Are a smoker
Heart disease is dangerous. But as mentioned above, it can be prevented in most cases. Everyone would benefit from developing a heart-healthy lifestyle, but it is extremely important for those who are at risk.
You can prevent heart conditions and disease by:
- Exercising regularly
- Achieving and maintaining weight (BMI)
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Reducing stress in your life
- Not smoking
- Drinking in moderation
- Being aware of symptoms and risk factors
- Getting regular check ups by your doctor
Losing excess weight and living a healthy lifestyle is one of the most effective ways of preventing and heart condition or disease. Make it a priority. You never know when it will be too late.