Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (approximately 800,000 a year) and many of them are avoidable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 avoidable deaths from heart disease, stroke and hypertensive disease occurred in the United States in 2010. Avoidable deaths are defined as those deaths that were either preventable by addressing risk factors or; treatable, as in treating conditions once they occurred.
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g., tobacco use, , excess weight, poor diet, inactivity and excessive alcohol use), coupled with uncontrolled hypertension, elevated cholesterol and obesity account for 80 percent of deaths due to heart disease and approximately 50 percent of deaths due to stroke in the united States.
Immediate care at the onset of a heart attack or stroke would help to avoid even more deaths. In these situations, it’s always recommended that those present with the afflicted person call 911 immediately so life-saving treatment can begin immediately. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment as soon as they arrive – they might need to revive someone whose heart had stopped. If treatment weren’t to begin until the patient arrived at a hospital, treatment might not happen for an hour. Eliminating that extra hour can literally save the person’s life.
In order to get early treatment for a heart attack, it’s important to know the signs. These come from the American Heart Association website:
Improving your lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, but if it should happen to you, it would certainly be helpful if those around you had this information. The American Heart Association website also has some valuable information on preventing heart disease and stroke by improving your heart health with better nutrition, physical activity and weight management. If you follow their guidelines, it would also go a long way toward getting lower life insurance rates.