Here are easy things you can do to help prevent heart disease
How to Prevent Heart Disease – Risk Factors
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. We lose almost 600,000 people to heart disease each year, and 58.8 million Americans currently have some form of this disease.
But that’s just heart disease – if you look at cardiovascular diseases as a whole (including both heart attack and stroke), the number of yearly deaths rises to 950,000, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. And because of the rising rate of obesity, which is linked to heart disease, these numbers continue to grow. Furthermore, heart disease doesn’t just strike the elderly, as many people think. One out of every 20 people in the United States below the age of 40 has heart disease.
It’s important to realize that heart disease can be prevented by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. And as the numbers show, it’s more than worth the effort. Your life could depend on it.
What Is Heart Disease?
The University of Maryland defines heart disease as “any disorder that affects the heart’s ability to function normally.”
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. CAD occurs when plaque, which is made of cholesterol deposits, builds up on the inside of the arteries that supply blood to your heart. Over time, your arteries shrink, which means that your heart gets less blood and has to work harder. Your heart becomes weaker from the strain, which can lead to heart failure.
The image below, courtesy of the CDC, shows the differences between a normal blood vessel and a blood vessel choked with plaque.