February is Heart Health Awareness Month. To prep for it, let’s review 10 not-so-fun-but-important-to-know facts about Cardiovascular Disease (heart disease and stroke) and risks for developing it.
- Worldwide, cardiovascular disease account for 31% of all deaths
- 90 million + Americans have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease
- 790,000 + Americans have a heart attack (myocardial infarction) each year
- Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States
- 1 in 3 adult Americans do not meet current recommendations for physical activity
- More than 37% of American adults are obese
- 86 million Americans have high blood pressure
- 23 million + Americans have diabetes
- 1 in 3 American adults have elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- Smoking (cigarettes) rates have declined in America, but increase worldwide
— American Heart Association, 2017
What does all this mean? Bottom line, cardiovascular disease is a process that happens over time, is affected by food choices, physical activity, smoking and other lifestyle factors (stress, sleep, etc.). You cannot change your genetics or your aging, but you can change your lifestyle choices. I’ll be discussing these factors throughout February. Check back for more!
To your cardiovascular health,
Starr Cortner, M.S, MCHES, ACE, AFAA is a wellness specialist with over 16 years of experience in cardiovascular health and emergency medicine.