Heart disease remains no 1 killer us

09, Feb 2021

More than 600,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease every year.

Heart disease affects all ages, ethnicities and genders and remains the No. 1 cause of death.

One in five people suffers from silent heart attacks.

Women may experience different symptoms than men. These symptoms include: pain in the back, arm, neck, shoulder; nausea; fatigue; shortness of breath; and vomiting.

Risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, excessive tobacco, high cholesterol and alcohol use.

Heart disease occurs when the arteries supplying to the heart become clogged up.

Many aspects of modern lifestyle exacerbate risk factors of heart disease.

Heart disease can affect anyone so taking stock of your prior health risks, activities and diet can help you reduce your risk.

The critical elements in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system are to stay active, eat a healthy and balanced diet with calorie counts and reduce your weight and daily stress.

Pick a new heart-healthy habit like walking, jogging, running, substituting caffeinated and carbonated beverages with water, and trying to stick to it for a whole month.

Quitting smoking, controlling your blood pressure and reducing your blood sugar are also necessary components in the prevention of heart disease.

Please educate yourself about the cardiovascular risk factors and their preventive strategies and make healthy lifestyle choices.

Ask your doctor to perform a lipid profile test to assess your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Standard targets are to keep body mass index between 18.5 and 25, blood pressure below 120/80 mm/Hg, total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL, fasting blood sugar (glucose) below 100 mg/dL.

In 2020, the terrible affliction of the COVID-19 pandemic largely overshadowed the leading cause of death in this country: heart disease.

In this country, last year, at least twice as many people died from cardiovascular causes as those who died from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus, complications.

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While the challenges from the virus remain new, heart disease has been studied for many decades — and a healthy heart and lifestyle may cause you to be less vulnerable to severe complications from infections such as COVID-19.

This year, jump-start by small changes such as eating plant-based foods like vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruit.

A few tips are:

  • Swapping meat with beans in one of your favorite dinner recipes
  • Eating a slice of whole-grain bread instead of white bread
  • Trying a vegetable that you’ve never had before.
  • Work out for at least 150 minutes with moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking each week, plus muscle-strengthening training like lifting weights at least two to three days a week. Hop on a treadmill or elliptical. If no machine is available, do some calisthenics like jumping jacks, squats, leg raises, and arm circles.
  • Keep track of your weight and height to calculate your body mass index and measure your blood pressure daily. Stay in touch with your doctor to achieve or maintain the target core measures.

American Heart Month (February) motivates us to examine our health habits and risks and take steps to improve our heart health.

To celebrate American Heart Month, spend some time getting to know your risk factors for heart disease so you can make every effort to reduce them and raise awareness of heart disease amongst others as well.

American Heart Month provides an excellent opportunity to begin some heart-healthy activities and cook healthy meals with your family.

Dr. Sue Mitra is accepting new patients and can be reached at 321-622-6222 or Call now to discuss the best possible next steps to assess your risk of heart disease.


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