Wellness News 7-12
Sunday, July 6, 2008

By Deana M. Newman, M.A., C.C.P.

    The United States is currently facing a plethora of issues: a boarder-line recessed economy, excessive health-care expenditures and an ongoing battle against terrorism to name a few.  While some citizens would categorize the above concerns in different orders of priority, there is a morbid problem lurking across the country and should be a top priority of concern for all races, gender, and age groups…HEART DISEASE. 
    Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and is also a major cause of disability.  Despite an increase in media attention and prevention campaigns to raise awareness of the disease, the number of heart disease cases amongst Americans steadily climbs at an alarming rate.  According to a recent report of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “…in 2008 an estimated 770,000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and about 430,000 will have a recurrent attack.”  Annually, heart disease accounts for nearly thirty percent of all U.S. deaths and more than 7 million deaths worldwide. 
    While heart disease is a categorization of more than one condition affecting the heart, the most common form is coronary artery disease (CAD), also known as coronary heart disease (CHD).  Additional forms of heart disease are heart attacks, congestive heart failure, rheumatic heart disease, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy and congenital conditions which are malformations of the heart at birth.  No matter the ailment, lifestyle choices can either prevent/delay the onset of heart disease, or place one at a higher risk for developing the disease.  Below are steps everyone should take to decrease the risk of heart disease development and to control the disease for those who have the condition:
o    Consume a diet low in salt, cholesterol and saturated fats
o    Control blood cholesterol levels
o    Control blood sugar and pressure levels
o    Do not smoke
o    Exercise regularly
o    Do not drink alcohol excessively
o    Lose excessive body fat

    Remember, mending a broken heart involves a great deal of time and effort.  So why not take appropriate action to protect it from a disease which can permanently destroy it?  However, the first step towards prevention and maintaining a healthy heart involves knowing and understanding our individual risk factors.  For more information on heart disease, speak with your local health care provider and visit the
American Heart Association at www.heart.org.


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