Know Your Risk

Making heart healthy choices and managing your health issues can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, congenital heart defects, arrhythmia, peripheral artery disease, and diabetes are just some of the cardiovascular diseases that could threaten your lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can help you recover from heart disease, a heart attack, stroke, or other heart condition.

Medical research shows that heart disease can be prevented, controlled, or even reversed by changing habits and lifestyles. While living a healthier lifestyle can reduce your risk and help you during your recovery stages, cardiovascular diseases continue to be the top killers in the United States, more than cancer and emphysema.

It is a myth that heart disease is a man’s disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women and the same approximate number of women as men die from heart disease every year. It is estimated that 3.7 million people will visit the hospital for heart disease this year. Many more will visit their physicians.

Reduce your risk with healthy choices while understanding your risks and warning signs. Based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is thought that many people don’t act on early warning signs because 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside of a hospital. There are several major warning signs and symptoms before a heart attack. These may be chest pain or discomfort; upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jar, or upper stomach; shortness of breath; or nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.

More Facts about Heart Disease (based on information from the CDC)

  • About 610,000 people, or 1 in 4 people, die of heart disease in the United States every year.
  • About 715,000 Americans have a heart attack every year.
  • From 2008 to 2010, the highest rate of death from heart disease in the United States was in the South.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for most ethnic groups, including Caucasian, African Americans, and Hispanics. It is the second cause of death, only to cancer, for Native American Indians or Alaska Natives and Asians or Pacific Islanders.
  • An estimated 47% of Americans have at least one key risk factor (smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol).
  • Diabetes disproportionately affects older adults with approximately 25% of Americans over the age of 60 being diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
  • About half of the men and two-thirds of the women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease were thought to have no previous symptoms.