Heart disease is the main cause of death in the USA UU., And it seems that the problem only gets worse. Nearly half of American adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, according to a new report published by the American Heart Association.
The report, the annual update of the AHA on statistics of heart disease and stroke, was published in the journal Circulation Thursday. For the gigantic report, a panel of experts examined data from a variety of sources (including government reports and clinical trials) to find statistics on cardiovascular disease, which was defined as coronary heart disease, heart failure, careeror high blood pressure.
The results showed that 48 percent of American adults (about 121.5 million people) have some type of heart disease and that heart disease also contributes to an increasing number of deaths. For example, the report found that there were 840,678 deaths from the disease in 2016, which represents an increase compared to 836,546 in 2015.
This reality is something we should all be thinking about, Mariell Jessup, MD, scientific and medical director of the American Heart Association, tells HIMSELF. "People need to see that amount of 48 percent and realize that the odds of a person having some type of cardiovascular disease are very high," he says.
Experts say that there are some factors that could be contributing to this trend.
The main problems are often reduced to lifestyle factors: lack of exercise, smoking and obesity, and not make changes in lifestyle when there are other risk factors for heart disease. "The fact that humans have adopted an unhealthy lifestyle contributes to the fact that cardiovascular diseases are the scourge of the United States and the rest of the world," says Dr. Jessup.
That said, people are more active than they have been in the past. Adults reported that they are moving more: in 2016, only 26.9 adults reported being inactive, compared to 40.2 percent in 2005. Unfortunately, they are still not moving as much as they should. For example, only 27.1 percent of high school students reported having completed at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity, which, according to the authors, in the report is "probably an overestimate of those who actually comply with the guidelines." Federal guidelines Advise adults to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise, and to perform muscle strengthening activities at least twice a week, and only 22.5 percent of adults said What is it really doing?
Helene Glbadberg, M.D., badociate professor of cardiovascular clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, tells herself the rate of tobacco use, a habit that is a known risk factor for heart disease. While adult smoking rates are declining, almost 80 percent of adults said they were not smokers between 2015 and 2016, compared with 73 percent from 1999 to 2000, there are still many people who are becoming involved in smoking. the habit. However, that may change in the future: almost 95 percent of children between the ages of 12 to 19 were not smokers in 2015 to 2016, which is a big change from the 76 percent reported between 1999 and 2000.
Although the link between heart disease and excess weight is incredibly complicated and misunderstood, the AHA constantly names obesity as an important risk factor for cardiovascular problems. And obesity rates may be contributing to cardiovascular disease rates, says Dr. Glbadberg. Almost 40 percent of adults and 18.5 percent of children were clbadified as obese during the reporting period, and 7.7 percent of adults and 5.6 percent of children were clbadified as obese. as serious obese
People are also not being proactive about the risk of heart disease 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. Glbadberg, citing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity, overweight and smoking among them. . "When they receive treatment, this significantly reduces the risk of having a heart attack, but many people are not doing that."
If high blood pressure is removed from the equation, 9 percent of American adults (or 24.3 million) qualify for cardiovascular disease, the report said. However, high blood pressure should not be ruled out: it is a major risk factor for the development of stroke, heart failure and coronary heart disease, Sanjiv Patel, MD, cardiologist at the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley Calif., He says to himself. "High blood pressure gets close to you and many people do not know they have it until it causes a stroke or a heart attack," he says.
If you are worried about your own risk of heart disease or high blood pressure, there are some things you can do.
First, it is important to keep in mind that the AHA and the American College of Cardiology changed the definition of high blood pressure in their Guidelines for hypertension in 2017. (After that much of the data in the report was collected). Previously, people were clbadified as hypertensive if they had a blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher, but now it is defined as 130/80 or higher. Therefore, if you have not had your blood pressure checked recently, now is the time to do it. Even if you have not changed much, you may now be in a different hypertension category.
The report notes that about 80 percent of all heart disease can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, in addition to living a healthy lifestyle. That includes not smoking, eating a healthy diet, staying active and doing your best to maintain a healthy weight.
If your work makes it difficult to stay active during the day, it is crucial to find time to work on that, even if you are going for a quick walk, says Dr. Patel. "You have to move," he says. "It can make a big difference in your health."
It's also crucial to "know your numbers," says Dr. Glbadberg, which means blood pressure but also cholesterol. "Regular checkups of cholesterol and blood pressure can cause your risk factors to get your doctor's attention long before a heart attack occurs."
Dr. Jessup says it is also important to have a general physical examination (where these things are usually monitored) regularly. (The exact recommendations on how often you should get one vary according to age, but MedlinePlus suggests that you see your doctor for a physical exam every one or two years if you are between 18 and 39, and every year if you are over 40.)
If your doctor finds out that you have a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, follow his advice to follow the steps to make a change, either through changes in lifestyle or medications. "The good news is that a significant percentage of cardiovascular diseases can be prevented entirely with changes in lifestyle and modern medicine," says Dr. Jessup.