Why You Should Be Concerned About Your Heart Health—And What To Do

Why should you be concerned about your heart health? Because heart disease statistics are screaming at you to pay attention. Did you know heart disease is the leading killer in the United States? More than a quarter of all deaths are due to heart disease and one in every three people is suffering from some type of heart disease.
The scariest thing about heart disease statistics is how quickly—and without warning—you can become one of them. About 850,000 people will suffer a heart attack this year and far too many of them will do so without recognizing the symptoms.

Wondering how to prevent heart disease yet? Fortunately, you can improve heart health and go a long way towards discovering any heart disease in just a few easy steps.

—Go to the doctor! The easiest answer to the question “How to prevent heart disease?” is the one people most often ignore. Heading to the doctor is no fun and people often refuse to do so—even if they are suffering symptoms of heart disease. But whether you feel fine or not, visiting the doctor is a must, because…

—…heart disease symptoms are difficult to identify and won’t go away without treatment. Atherosclerosis, hypertension and high cholesterol are among the biggest risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks, yet they often go undetected until they have become too acute to be ignored. If you are already at that point, get to a doctor immediately, no matter how frightened you may be about heading into his or her office.

—A doctor can quickly and easily test for some of the more obvious symptoms of heart disease such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol and recommend further examinations and treatment such as stress tests, coronary intervention and bypass surgery.

—Not all patients who visit the doctor will discover they have heart disease, but doctors can provide instructions on how to prevent heart disease to those who received a clean bill of health. For instance, meeting with the patient can allow the doctor to determine if he or she needs to minimize the stress in his or her life. Stress causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate and can damage artery walls.

—Doctors can also remind patients that a healthy lifestyle is the best long-term answer to the question “How to prevent heart disease?” Even those who are showing no signs of heart disease can benefit from not only managing stress but also quitting or avoiding smoking, exercising on a regular basis, eating a better diet in which salt intake is limited or eliminated entirely, drinking alcohol only in moderation and maintaining a healthy weight.

Heart disease statistics make it imperative that every adult, regardless of his or her past health history, focus on how to prevent heart disease. The good news is that a proactive approach to your treatment and diet can manage symptoms that have already appeared and leave you far less likely to suffer heart disease and/or a heart attack down the road.


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