February is American Heart Month and that means we will be focusing on heart health over the next few weeks.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing even more Americans than cancer. Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, is a term used to describe a variety of problems with the heart. The most common issue is called atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque on the walls of the arteries, inhibiting blood flow, which can eventually lead to stroke or heart attack.
These following statistics and risk factors are provided by the American Heart Association.
- About 18.2 million adults have coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease.
- Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death.
- Hypertension, high LDL cholesterol, and high total cholesterol are major risk factors in heart disease and stroke.
- Rates of hypertension and high total cholesterol are higher in adults with obesity than those who are at a healthy weight.
- About 45% of adults have hypertensions.
- More black adults (54%) than White adults (46%) have hypertension.
- More adults ages 60 and older (75%) than adults ages 40 to 59 (55%) have hypertension.
- More than 11% of adults have high total cholesterol
So, how is your heart? It’s important that you keep your regular appointments for checkups with your physician. Make sure you know all your health stats and what they mean for your heart health!