ORLANDO. (Ivanhoe) — Heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries are the top five leading causes of death. They account for roughly 63 percent of deaths in the U.S. However, 20 to 40 percent of these deaths can be prevented. Here are more details about preventable risk factors that could save thousands of lives.
For years high blood pressure was the leading risk factor for death, but a recent study shows that there are other factors that are more dangerous.
We all know that smoking can kill you, which makes it the number one risk factor for death in the U.S. More than 16 million Americans are living with diseases caused by smoking and nearly 500,000 people die from these each year; 42,000 are from second-hand smoke. So not smoking does not only save your life, but also someone else’s.
The second risk factor for death is not high cholesterol or high blood pressure, but prolonged sitting. A 45-year study found that low physical activity and being overweight puts people at a greater risk for developing heart disease and dying. Dallas-based cardiac pathologist William Roberts, M.D. said getting everyone up and moving would have a huge impact on this country.
“If everybody in America lost 10 pounds, the health of this nation would skyrocket. Two thirds of Americans are overweight; two thirds,” Dr. Roberts told Ivanhoe.
Finally, rounding out the top factors is of course high blood pressure. It is called the silent killer, because many people show no symptoms, but it still affects one in three U.S. adults and is responsible for one in six deaths. So doctors recommend getting your blood pressure checked regularly.
“We’ve got to prevent this from happening and we prevent it from happening by more and more of us taking better care of ourselves,” said Dr. Roberts.
Other factors on the list include high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high dietary salt.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
THREE PREVENTABLE CAUSES OF DEATH!
BACKGROUND: In the U.S., the five leading causes of death are: heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, cancer, stroke, and unintentional injuries. 90,000 Americans die from these five each year and 20 to 40% of those deaths could be prevented.
BEHAVIORS THAT PUT YOU AT RISK: The following are behaviors that put you in great risk of being exposed to one of these leading causes:
- Heart Disease: tobacco use, having a poor diet, being overweight, and lack of physical activity.
- Cancer: tobacco use, having a poor diet, being overweight, lack of physical activity, sun exposure, consuming alcohol and certain chemical substances.
- Chronic Respiratory Diseases: tobacco use, second-hand smoke exposure, and exposure to occupational agents.
- Stroke: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight, lack of physical activities, diabetes, tobacco use, alcohol consumption.
- Unintentional Injuries: lack of seatbelt use, lack of helmet use, unsafe consumer products, and consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
If changes in personal behaviors are made, many of these risks are avoidable.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE: The most common behaviors that cause preventable diseases are tobacco consumption, being overweight and lack of physical activity. Here are some tips that will help you have a healthier lifestyle, lose weight, and prolong your age life.
- Drink water as soon as you get out of bed.
- Sleep between 6 to 10 hours each night since it can help to prevent heart disease and it will help you concentrate better during the day.
- Stretch in the morning because it increases your blood flow.
- Eat breakfast; it is the most important meal of all, and it will help you not crave other bad foods later in the day.
- Take a daily walk. If you don’t have time to go to the gym or exercise every day, talking a walk is the simplest way of getting some physical activity. Make it fun by going with family members or your pet. Also, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Pick new activities that will help you connect with friends and also be active. Finding a hobby can reduce stress and help you be healthy without much struggle.
- Love your life. Get rid of any behaviors that will put your body at risk of developing a deathly disease like slowly eliminating the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
Little by little, making these small changes in your life will give you big results later on.
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