The Truth About Heart Disease

By: nkthen
When a person's doctor tells them that they are at risk for heart disease it is often a shock. Most believe that it only happens to someone else and it is a reality check when the doctor says 'that someone else is you'. The things people do today will have an effect on their heart now and in the future. If your family has a history, this is something you have no control over but you can follow steps to prevent or lesson your chances. Whether you are male or female and the age group you are in also affects the risk.

Heart disease causes more deaths than any other disease in the United States. More than 700,000 people in the United States alone will die of this condition annually. At one time people thought of it as a man's disease. Statistics tell us that this is not true. Women between the ages of forty-five and sixty-four have a one in nine chance of some type of heart disease such as strokes, coronary artery disease or renal vascular disease. Women that are African American are at higher risk than average.

The Statistics
Accidents, cancer and diabetes, combined, kill less American women annually than heart disease. A third of all women's deaths are attributed to this disease.

Almost half a million women die annually from some form of cardiovascular disease.

Just less than a quarter million females die from heart attack annually.

Heart disease causes the death of forty percent of women that have heart disease.

We hear more about males and heart attacks because men are stricken usually in their mid years and women usually up to twenty years later. Menopause seems to be the starting point for women and heart disease.

Controlling the Risk

Cholesterol
- Have your doctor check your blood cholesterol level. Eat low cholesterol, low-saturated fat diet to reduce LDL or low-density lipoproteins.
Exercise
- You can lower chances of stroke and heart attack with physical activity and it helps control weight. Daily, do some form of physical activity such as walking for half an hour. For anyone that is not used to walking, start slow and gradually speed up your pace. Even small weight losses such as five pounds could possible help lower blood pressure and have a good effect on lipid levels.

Stop Smoking
- Cut back gradually or stop smoking completely as it is very hard on a person's lung and affects the heart.

Alcohol
- Six to eight ounces of alcohol daily can higher your blood pressure. Limit your intake to less than three ounces daily.

Diet
- Daily, eat at least five helpings of vegetables and fruit to prevent heart disease.
- Make sure your diet is high enough in calcium, dietary potassium and magnesium.
- Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats.
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