Good news for Monday!
A study published in November 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that heart disease rates in the United States have fallen 20 percent since the 1980s! This is important because according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately 610,000 people in the US die from heart disease each year.
What is causing the decrease in heart disease? The study shows the decrease in heart disease is do to better care and awareness, as well as, better medications to help decrease heart disease risk. As Dr. Zimny and I stress in our practice, early detection and intervention are key. Routine annual physicals can help to uncover risk factors that can be “silent killers,” meaning you might not feel symptoms, such as high blood pressure or pre-diabetes, until something catastrophic happens.
If risk factors are identified, then medications can play a crucial role. However, living a healthy lifestyle, including exercising and having well balanced eating habits, is the best medicine. There are certain risk factors that contribute to heart disease we cannot control, such as our genetics, age, or gender. But, we can control how we treat our bodies. As the old adage says, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you have unhealthy eating habits, then try to cut down on the junk food and start choosing more healthy options. If you smoke, then get ready to quit. There are many options to help quit smoking ranging from cold turkey to medications, but none of them will work if you are not ready to quit. If you are not exercising, then start being more physically active. You don’t have to be a marathon runner. Start slow by walking 30 minutes a day, or several times a week. Then gradually increase your activity. Any exercise is better than no exercise.
To read more about the study, visit https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162007.html