Heart Disease and American Heart Month
Heart disease moves center stage in February, the American Heart Month. The CDC reports that 1 in every 4 fatalities is caused by heart disease.
This month I will post a lot of heart disease data and content related to heart disease. The facts about heart disease are not very pretty but they are real. One fact is certain, you can live a healthy lifestyle and live longer than or you can live a reckless lifestyle and find that you should have lived more prudently.
Hiland’s Honor Roll
There were 354 fewer heart transplants in 2012 than there were in 2011, a dangerous trend for all of us and our loved ones. We can do better. There were 2,468,435 fatalities in the US in 2010. During American Heart Month, please invite 5 people to pledge to donate their organs in the event of an unexpected fatality. If any persons consider this generous commitment, please send me their e-mail address at Cthodges@aol.com. I will contact them confidentially and respectfully and direct them to the right sources. Just by asking five people, you earn a spot on My Honor Roll. The life you prolong may be someone you know. Keep me posted!
In my case, I buried my head in the sand, staring at a genetic propensity for heart disease, and not making the right lifestyle choices. Today, I am so squeaky clean that my previous life seems a rapid-fire comedy of errors.
The bottom line is that even when we stare the imposing heart disease data in the face, we remain the best defense against heart disease. And, it is not too late to stop smoking and start eating healthy and exercising. Read this data and address your exercise routine, your diet and your personal consumption habits accordingly.
What was that old television commercial? You can’t fight Mother Nature. You may feel invulnerable. You may have no genetic history of heart disease. But, habits like smoking and over-consumption of alcohol are more dangerous than high levels of sugar, salt or red meat. All these choices diminish your ability to reduce stress.
So, figure it out. How long do you want to live? It really is your choice.
Heart Disease Data
Total Fatalities 2010 – 2,468,435 Americans died in 2010.
Heart Disease Number 1 – Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, posing an ominous, ever-present threat to you and your loved ones.
Death Rate – 799.5 persons per 100,000 of people living in US die of heart disease every year.
Compared to Cancer – In the US, more than 600,000 Americans died of heart disease every year. 570,000 men and women die of cancer every year.
Progress Report – The number of heart disease-relate deaths decreased by 33 percent from 1999-2009 and this disease remains American’s biggest health challenge. During the same period, fatalities caused by stroke fell 37 percent.
Heart Attack Rate – Approximately 935,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. 610,000 of these happen to people that have never had a heart attack before.
Cost of Heart Disease – In the US, the cost of coronary heart disease is 108.9 billion per year. This cost includes cost of medications, health care services and lost productivity.
Coronary Heart Disease – Coronary heart disease kills more than 385,000 Americans yearly.
Infant Mortality – Heart disease kills 6.15 infants per 1,000 births per year.
Stroke – Stroke kills another 129,476 Americans per year.
Smoking – The gruesome smoking habit includes 21 percent of adult men, 17 percent of adult women and 18 percent of high school students. Knowing what we know today, these people must have a death wish.
Cholesterol – 32 million Americans have a total serum cholesterol rate greater than 24 mg/dl.
Diabetes – The American Heart Association says 20 million adults have physician-diagnosed diabetes. 8 million diabetic adults are undiagnosed. Another 87 million Americans are in pre-diabetes status.
Body Mass Index (BMI) – The US has an obesity problem. It is especially alarming in American youths. 32 percent of the country’s children are overweight. 24 million children (17 percent) are obese. The CDC estimates that 155 American adults are overweight. 68 percent of these persons are obese.
Diet – Diet is the greatest risk of the general population. Less than 1 percent of Americans meet the American Heart Association’s “Ideal Healthy Diet.” No percentage of American children meet the diet’s standards. Reducing sodium, and increasing whole grains remain the biggest hurdles for healthy dieters.
Pretty terrifying stuff isn’t it? Medicine has made tremendous strides. But, the onus of prevention falls upon each person and child. Eat healthy, exercise, teach your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle and you will enjoy them for many, many years. In 2010, the average American life expectancy was 78.7 years. We have come a long way, but we cannot drop the ball in the fight against heart disease.
Sources CDC and American Heart Association