Prevention is the Best Defense in Controlling Heart Disease
Prevention & Treatment Silent killers like hypertension and high cholesterol are running rampant, but the best defense is still prevention.
It’s no secret that heart disease — a byproduct of hypertension and high cholesterol — is the leading cause of death in America. Both men and women continue to be impacted by the disease, which claims more than 600,000 lives annually in the U.S.
But the numbers are particularly striking for men — 1 in 4 deaths in men are caused by heart disease, and as much as 80 percent of cardiovascular events occur in men, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite it being a leading cause of death, heart disease continues to be one the most preventable. Some 200,000 annual deaths from heart disease and strokes are preventable, according to the Harvard Health Publications.
And though it may seem like heart disease is an inalienable fact of life for so many men and women — it’s quite preventable. Controlling blood pleasure, cholesterol and having a healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce one’s risk of heart disease.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is particularly important in preventing heart disease but often goes unchecked. About 1 in 3 adults — roughly 68 million people — have hypertension, yet only 46 percent of us have it under control.
It’s no wonder that hypertension is known as a silent killer; 43,000 deaths could be prevented if the condition was properly treated.
Men especially should pay attention to the warning signs of heart disease. Social norms already put men at health risk — men are less likely than women to go to the doctor and are less likely to be honest when they get there.
Chest pains, shortness of breath and abdominal discomfort can all be associated with heart disease and it’s important to communicate these symptoms to a healthcare provider.
Routine check-ups and honest communication with a healthcare provider can often make the difference in preventing heart disease even when symptoms are not present. According to the CDC, 50 percent of men who died from heart disease didn’t know they had it because they lacked symptoms.
While there is no magic pill that will completely end heart diseases, prevention, a healthy lifestyle, and consistent monitoring can go a long way to decreasing one’s risk of developing the disease.