Over 2,000 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day with an average of 1 death every 40 seconds – this means that by the time you are done reading this page cardiovascular disease would have claimed the lives of 3 people! The latest stroke and heart disease statistics are quite alarming – more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease and there are 795,000 cases of stroke each year.
There are several risk factors for stroke and heart disease and while some of them like age and heredity cannot be controlled, there are others that can be eliminated to reduce the risk of these conditions. Some of the most common controllable risk factors include physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
The Million Hearts national initiative has a novel method to help people track their risk – keep in mind the ABCS of stroke and heart disease:
Appropriate Aspirin Therapy: Aspirin Therapy helps to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease but it is associated with an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. In cases where the benefits outweigh the risks, regular aspirin use may be recommended. The risk is higher with a higher dosage and is not as strongly related to the duration of aspirin use.
Blood Pressure Control: High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most common causes of heart disease and stroke in the United States. It is no coincidence that we have seen a spike in both heart disease and obesity in the last decade as obesity increases the risk of the development of hypertension. Losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds can help to lower blood pressure and in turn the risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol Management: Heart disease and stroke are among the most widespread and the most preventable health problems facing the country today. High Cholesterol levels cause arterial plaque buildup which can induce hypertension and lead to heart disease and stroke. Dietary changes, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight will help to get cholesterol levels under control.
Smoking Cessation: People who quit smoking reduce their risk of a heart disease death by one-third as compared to people who continue smoking. Furthermore, quitting smoking can lower the risk of heart disease by more than common heart disease medicines such as aspirin and statins. According to recent research findings, smokers who quit reduce their risk of a stroke by about 50 percent.
There are several other ways to fight stroke and heart disease and some of these are as simple as getting adequate sleep. Sleeping for less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours on a regular basis can increase your risk of heart disease. A recent study on the effects of drinking water found that women who drank less than two glasses of water every day were twice as likely to die from a heart attack as compared to women who drank 5 glasses of water. Staying hydrated will prevent sluggish blood flow and decrease the risk of clot formation. A high fiber diet can cut your risk by 25 to 35 per cent and so it is advisable to start your day with a high-fiber breakfast cereal.
Depression is a condition that is often ignored and goes undiagnosed, as most people tend to shrug it off as a common problem. If it is not treated, lasting depression can drastically increase your risk of heart disease; in fact, it poses a greater risk than passive smoking. So, while it is important that you improve your physical health, make sure that you do not disregard your mental health. Read more about stroke at www.home-remedies-for-you.com/.
This article was written by Jenny Lora a freelance writer for www.home-remedies-for-you.com.