Healthy Heart Tips


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About one in four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. So, how can you lower your risk of developing this all-too-common condition? Here are some tips.

Every year, 600,000 Americans die of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Sitaramesh Emani, MD at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, says, “Untreated heart failure leads to patients feeling progressively more and more tired, short of breath with activity, ultimately short of breath at rest, laying in bed, unable to sleep. And it is a fatal condition.”

But, there are ways to prevent this unwelcome killer. First: exercise. In the largest study to date, researchers found that men and women with the highest aerobic fitness levels cut their chances of heart disease by half. Even if they had genetic markers for the condition.

In another recent study, scientists from Ohio State found vitamin D-3, which is made by the body when you’re exposed to the sun, can restore damage caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, and clogged arteries. It also reduces the risk of heart attack. Another heart healthy habit:

Stop smoking. After just one year of quitting, your excess risk of heart disease is reduced by 80 percent. Lastly: chronic stress releases adrenaline causing your heart rate and blood pressure to rise, which could damage artery walls. So, relax and take a deep breath. It could mean a healthier you!

Drinking too much alcohol also increases your risk of developing several diseases including heart problems. But a moderate amount of alcohol may actually protect your heart. Men should consume no more than two drinks per day. For women, it’s no more than one drink a day. Experts don’t recommend that non-drinkers start drinking or that drinkers increase the amount of alcohol they consume.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor. 

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BACKGROUND: Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD) or coronary heart disease (CHD) and includes illnesses associated with the heart and vessels. Heart attacks occur when oxygen-rich blood is blocked and can’t flow to the heart. The section of the heart devoid of oxygen begins to die if the flow isn’t restored in a sufficient amount of time. There are many types of heart disease, including hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease (heart attack), and cerebrovascular disease (stroke). It is predicted that by 2030, almost 23.6 million people will die from a type of heart disease globally. One in 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure, and men are 24 percent less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year. Heart attacks and strokes can be avoided. About 80 percent of them are preventable by avoiding tobacco use, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and regularly checking blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids. Approximately 600,000 people die from heart disease every year in the United States.


SYMPTOMS AND TEATMENT: Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain; women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue. You might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It’s important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations. Heart disease treatments vary by condition. For instance, if you have a heart infection, you’ll likely be given antibiotics. In general, treatment for heart disease usually includes lifestyle changes. These include eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake. If lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to control your heart disease. The type of medication will depend on the type of heart disease. If medications aren’t enough, it’s possible your doctor will recommend specific procedures or surgery. The type of procedure will depend on the type of heart disease and the extent of the damage to your heart.

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NEW TECHNOLOGY HELPS HEART PATIENTS: Almost half of all heart patients are readmitted to the hospital within six months of diagnosis. Rami Kahwash, a cardiologist and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said, “In the past five years the direction has been focusing on improving the care of heart failure patients to decrease their readmission, by developing some sort of technology that we can monitor the patient before the symptoms actually start.” To that end, researchers at Sensible Medical have developed the SensiVest, a vest that patients can wear over their clothes that uses radar technology originally developed by the military to scan inside the body and monitor fluid buildup in the lungs. As the heart ceases to pump blood properly, fluid backs up into the lungs, causing shortness of breath, swelling and other symptoms. Instead of waiting for patients to report symptoms, as doctors have previously done, patients can simply put the vest on. The information is transmitted wirelessly to their doctor within a few minutes, who can conduct further assessments, recommend dietary changes and intervene with medication.


* Contact:  Marti Leach, Public Relations