Why not live longer? Join the fight against heart disease and stroke

2013-12-27 10:20

Heart disease and stroke are killing off Americans faster than bullets in overseas wars. We would like to think that with all of the media hype surrounding the need for healthier lifestyles and better nutrition to fight heart disease and stroke that we would be seeing dramatic improvements in dealing with these conditions. However, all around us we still see an epidemic of obesity, chronic alcohol and drug abuse, and lazy people who refuse to commit themselves to a daily exercise regimen. This has all lead to a continued high rate of heart disease and stroke.

Heart disease and stroke are continuing to threaten U.S. health, reports the American Heart Association. According to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014, published in its journal Circulation, heart disease and stroke continue to be among the top killers of Americans and they pose a serious threat to millions of others.

In 2010 there were greater than 787,000 people in the U.S. who died from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. This means about one of every three deaths in America was due to these conditions. Every single day approximately 2,150 Americans die from these diseases. This is one American death every 40 seconds from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Deaths due to cardiovascular diseases steal more lives than all forms of cancer considered together. At this time it is estimated there are about 83.6 million Americans who are living with some type of cardiovascular disease or the serious effects of stroke. The total costs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke are greater than $315.4 billion. This includes a consideration of health care expenses and lost productivity. Just about 50 percent of all African-American adults suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.

Worldwide, heart disease is the leading cause of death as it is in the United States. Every year heart disease kills about 380,000 Americans, which is more than deaths from auto accidents, murder and terrorism combined. Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths in the United States. Every 90 seconds another person in the United States dies from heart disease.


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I have early onset arthritis so I'm limited as to what I can do. Any suggestions?
Hello Sharon: Kathleen Blanchard's suggestion of water exercises is very good. Also, keep in mind that it is important for people with RA, as well as other inflammatory disorders, such as ankylosing spondylitis, lupus, scleroderma and reactive arthritis, to make lifestyle changes aimed at reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Modifying these risk factors, such as quitting smoking and lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, may help to reduce the known increased risk of cardiovascular problems in people with RA.
Hi Sharon - I was waiting for Dr. Mandel to respond and I'm sure he also has suggestions. As a nurse, I recommend water exercises. They are the best. Get in a pool, but definitely get specific guidelines from your doctor. If your arthritis is mild, just walking is great. You never want to stress the joints too much because then you end up in pain and with more inflammation, which is why your doctor can really guide you for what is best for you.