Helping Your Clients Improve Heart Health
Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the US. One-fourth of all deaths occur due to a heart problem. Each year about 610 000 people die of the condition, and half of them die due to coronary artery disease caused by arterial plaques. Total deaths due to cardiovascular diseases are around 859 000 when we add deaths related to stroke to these numbers. Another, 735 000 Americans have a heart attack each year.
Most people are aware of the symptoms of the condition like chest pain and discomfort, pain in the arm, stomach, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, and so on.
Heart disease may occur due to many reasons, and most of these causes are modifiable and preventable. High blood pressure remains the most significant contributor to heart disease, followed by high cholesterol and smoking. Other underlying causes of cardiovascular diseases are diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol abuse.
Are Heart Diseases Preventable?
Not all heart attacks are avoidable, but a considerable number of them can be prevented or delayed by several years with mere lifestyle interventions. After all, 80% of all heart diseases are due to preventable reasons. CDC says that about 200,000 deaths each year are preventable through lifestyle modification, and in many more cases, such events can be delayed significantly.
Heart health can be improved by non-pharmacological means is a proven fact and not just an opinion. From 1972 to 1992, just in a period of 20 years, Finland was able to reduce mortality due to coronary heart disease by as much as 80%. Ireland reduced mortality due to heart disease by 48.1% from 1985 to 2000.
Treating with Medications and Lifestyle Changes
Many people may think that taking a statin or low-dose aspirin may help prevent a heart attack. However, they are partially wrong. Lifestyle changes are the primary way to prevent cardiovascular diseases, and medications are just adjuncts. No, medication can help as exercise, dietary corrections, quitting smoking, and so on. In fact, medications may not even work if such changes are not carried out. This means that natural methods are superior in prevention to pharmacological drugs.
Regretfully, many people think that medications alone can save them. One of the reasons for such a mindset is that popping up a pill or two a day is much more comfortable than sweating out for an hour in a gym, or planning a diet, cooking at home, and so on.
This is not to say that medications have no value in preventing heart diseases, but they should always be used along with lifestyle interventions. Undoubtedly, controlling blood pressure, diabetes, dyslipidemia, with the help of medications, will make a considerable difference.
Preventing heart disease, improving heart health naturally, will only work when one combines a number of elements into the disease prevention program. Doing one of two things will still help, but not as much as one would like. So, healthy heart program should include dietary changes, daily exercise, stress management, reducing substance abuse, and so on. [Read more…]