There are things you can do (or stop doing) right now to prevent a heart attack
Even with all of the advances in medicine and the vast amount of information we have access to, health in the U.S. is not getting much better. In fact, statistics show that one crucial area – heart disease – is getting worse.
Heart disease kills about 630,000 Americans every year, which accounts for a quarter of all deaths. And it is estimated that 15 million people have coronary heart disease, which is the most common form of heart disease.
Why is heart disease so prevalent? While there are some factors we don’t have any control over – such as age, gender, and genetics – the truth is that this is a very preventable sickness. Here are the five most common causes of heart disease and how they can be remedied:
Lack of activity/Excess weight
Exercise is one of those things that can dramatically improve health, but it’s something that’s not done nearly enough. According to the American Heart Association, 69 percent of adults are overweight, and all of those extra pounds – plus the increased levels of cholesterol – put a severe strain on the heart. Even just moderate daily exercise like taking a walk can significantly reduce the chance of a heart attack.
If you smoke, here’s a stat that will probably make you think twice about lighting that next cigarette: Smoking can increase the risk of heart disease by up to four times. And if you smoke around nonsmokers such as family members, you’re also putting them at a higher risk.
High blood pressure
When someone’s blood pressure is high, this puts pressure on the cardiovascular system and the coronary arteries. As damage accumulates from this pressure, so does plaque, which in turn can block blood flow to the heart and raises the chances of a heart attack. Around 60 million Americans have high blood pressure, making it the most common risk factor for heart disease. A better diet and more exercise, as well as medications, can help lower it.
People with diabetes are much more likely to develop heart problems. In fact, almost 70 percent of diabetics age 65 or older will die due to a form of heart disease. This is why controlling diabetes by eating well, exercising, and taking prescribed medications is vital.
While everything else on this list can be seen or will show up on a test, stress is one of those invisible killers. Stress in itself may not directly cause heart problems, but it often leads to things that can, including higher blood pressure, poor eating habits, and smoking. It’s important to recognize the warning signs of stress and find ways to relax.
In the U.S., someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. If you live with or perhaps work with people who could be potential victims of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), it’s important to be prepared. One Beat CPR offers an assortment of classes covering a variety of life-saving measures, including CPR, using an AED, and first aid. These classes are taught by first-responders and can be conducted in your home or place of business. For more information, you can call us at 954-321-5305 or just fill out our online contact form.