Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer, still claiming more lives than any other major cause of death. CVD killed 931,108 Americans in 2001. CVD includes high-blood pressure, coronary heart disease (heart attacks and angina), congestive heart failure, stroke and congenital heart defects. Coronary heart disease is the single largest killer of Americans. The disease continues to devastate women as it accounts for one in five women’s deaths. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Each year, about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. About 500,000 of these are first strokes, and 200,000 are recurrent. . Lowering Your Risk of Heart Disease (Preventative Check-ups).
Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease is important in diagnosing early problems with your heart, brain (stroke) and other conditions. The majority of patients come in to the hospital when they are sick, without any prior warning and often times, when it is too late. Therefore, preventative check-ups are a necessity in order to maintain your body’s most vital organs. We all need to bring our body in for regular checkups or “regular servicing” in order to detect any malfunction. By detecting early problems we can CURE most people with the proper treatment and most importantly lifestyle changes (proper diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking, etc.)
Physical inactivity is an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, much like high cholesterol and high blood pressure are independent risk factors.
The proven benefits of regular exercise are numerous;
- Reduces risk of early death from any cause
- Reduces risk of death from CVD (cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes)
- Reduces risk of developing type II diabetes or “adult” onset diabetes
- Helps control of blood glucose and body weight for diabetes
- Helps control of abnormal lipid levels
- Reduces risk of high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Helps reduce blood pressure in hypertensive people
- Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
- Helps control weight
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
- Helps reduces pain of arthritis
Exercise can be of great value even if you do it on a regular basis – at least three to four days a week. A 10-minute walk a day will improve your fitness and health a little. A 45-minute brisk walk every day will improve your fitness and health a lot more. If you have cardiovascular disease or you are at high-risk, you should have your doctor recommend the very best possible treatment. each time. The most beneficial amount of exercise to prevent illnesses, including CVD is a program that is moderately challenging for 6-7 days a week and for 40-60 minutes each time.
In addition, staying active several hours a week, by participating in activities such as yard work, house work, golf, bowling and other similar forms of physical activity will be of great benefit to your overall health.
Who should come in for a check-up?
- Men age 40
- Women (post-menopause)
- Children whose parents have had cardiovascular disease before the age of 55
In addition to the above risk-factors, the following list is the most important known causes leading to cardiovascular problems, including blockages of the arteries which nourish blood to the heart, brain, kidneys, legs, and other vital organs.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels (the bad one – LDL)
- High triglycerides and low HDL
- Family history (genetics)
- Decrease Fruit and Vegetable intake