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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom - Heart Disease Facts

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women.  As a wellness professional, I am discouraged by this.  Why?  Medically speaking, we know a lot about heart disease, what causes it, how to treat and manage it, and how to prevent it.  We know a lot more about heart disease than cancer, yet it remains the leading cause of death.  

Listed below are controllable factors for heart disease.  Yes, we can control most of our risk but as a society we fail to do so until we are diagnosed with the disease (if we make it that far).  Hopefully this list educates you on risk factors and if you "already knew this info" let it be a reminder (aka wake up call) that your faith often lies in your own hands. 


Heart Disease Facts

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.
  • About 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.
  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Each minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders and American Indians or Alaska Natives, heart disease is second only to cancer.
  • Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.  This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

Risk Factors

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.5
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

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