Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US – and it seems the problem is only getting worse. Almost half of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, according to a new report from the American Heart Association.
The report, the annual update of the AHA for heart disease and stroke, was published in the journal Circulation . 19659004] on Thursday. For the gigantic report, a panel of experts looked at data from a variety of sources (including government reports and clinical trials) to find statistics on cardiovascular disease defined as Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Stroke . or high blood pressure .
The results showed that 48 percent of American adults (that's about 121.5 million people) have some form of heart disease, and that heart disease also contributes to an increasing number of deaths Year 2016 840,678 deaths from the disease occurred, compared to 836,546 in 2015.
This reality is something we should all think about, Dr. med. Mariell Jessup, MD, chief scientist and physician from the American Heart Association, tells SELF. "People need to see that figure of 48 percent and realize that the likelihood of a person suffering from some form of cardiovascular disease is very high," she says.
Experts say that there are a few factors that could contribute to this trend. 19659008] The main problems are often due to lifestyle factors: sedentary lifestyle, smoking, obesity and no lifestyle change when other risk factors for heart disease exist. "The fact that people have adopted an unhealthy lifestyle is one of the reasons that cardiovascular disease is the scourge of the United States and the rest of the world." Jessup.
That is, people are more active than they are. I have been in the past. Adults reported moving more: in 2016, only 26.9 adults reported being inactive, compared to 40.2 percent in 2005. Unfortunately, they still are not moving as well as they should. For example, only 27.1 percent of students reported having at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, which the authors said in the report as "probably an overestimate of those who actually meet the guidelines." Federal guidelines recommend that adults receive at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise for 75 minutes of vigorous, intense aerobic exercise and perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week – and only 22.5% of adults say they actually do so do.
Council Smoking, a habit that is a known risk factor for heart disease, also has a way to go, Dr. Helene Glassberg, Professor of Clinical Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, told SELF. While adult smoking rates are falling – nearly 80 percent of adults say they are not smokers between 2015 and 2016 (from 73 percent in 1999-2000) – there are still many people who get used to it. However, this may change in the future: Almost 95 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 19 were non-smokers from 2015 to 2016. This is a huge change of 76 percent reported between 1999 and 2000.
Although the connection between heart and soul is disease and obesity, is incredibly complicated and is poorly understood. The AHA refers to obesity as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. According to Dr. Glassberg could also contribute to obesity to cardiovascular disease. Almost 40 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children were considered obese during the reporting period, and 7.7 percent of adults and 5.6 percent of children were considered to be severely obese.
People are also not proactive about their heart disease risk as they should. "Many Americans have at least one of the major risk factors that cause heart disease, and many are controllable or at least manageable," says Dr. Glassberg citing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, obesity and smoking. "When they are treated, it significantly reduces the risk of heart attack. But many people do not do that. "
If you take high blood pressure out of the equation, 9 percent of American adults (or 24.3 million) have the opportunity to have cardiovascular disease, the report said. However, hypertension should not be overlooked: it is a major risk factor for the development of stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease. Sanjiv Patel, a cardiologist at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at the Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, USA. Calif., Told SELF. "High blood pressure is rising and many people do not realize that they have it until it causes a stroke or a heart attack," he says.
If you are concerned about your own risk for heart disease or hypertension, there are a few things you can do.
First of all, it is important to know that the AHA and the American College of Cardiology have changed the definition of hypertension in their Hypertension Guidelines 2017 of the data in the report were collected). Previously, people were classified as high blood pressure if they had a blood pressure value of 140/90 or more, but now they are defined as 130/80 or higher . If you have not recently checked your blood pressure, now is the time – even if it has not changed much, you may be in another category for high blood pressure.
The report points to 80 percent of all heart disease can be prevented by high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol and a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, having a healthy diet, being active and doing your best to maintain a healthy weight.
When it's hard for you to be active during the day, it's important to find time to take care of it. Even if things are going fast, Dr. Patel. "You have to move," he says. "It can make a big difference to your health."
It's also important to know "your numbers," Dr. Glassberg, which means blood pressure, but also cholesterol. "Regular cholesterol and blood pressure checks can alert your doctor to risk factors long before a heart attack occurs."
A general physical exam (which is regularly monitored) is also important, Dr. Jessup. (The exact recommendations on how often you should get one vary according to age, but MedlinePlus suggests that you consult your doctor every one to two years for a doctor if you are between 18 and 39, and every year if you are over 40 years old.)
If your doctor identifies a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, follow the instructions to make a change, whether through lifestyle changes or medication , "The good news is that a significant percentage of cardiovascular disease can be completely prevented by lifestyle changes and modern medicine," says Dr. Jessup.