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Cardiovascular Health in America and Why it's Vitally Important

Updated on July 19, 2013

America is Suffering from Heart Disease

The cardiovascular health of the average American has deteriorated dramatically. Despite the fact that we live in the most advanced period of our history, especially when it comes to medical science, there is a higher instance of heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular issues than ever before. From 1971 to 2004, the average calorie intake of the American male increased by 10%, while the average female’s caloric intake increased by a whopping 22%! Add in the greater consumption of processed food, lower intake of vitamins and minerals, plus decreased level of exercise; it is obvious why 67% of adults and over 30% of children are either obese or overweight.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent heart disease. | Source

7 Cardiovascular Health Factors

If you can stop smoking, lose excess fat, exercise, eat right, watch your cholesterol intake, monitor glucose levels, and keep your blood pressure in check... You should have absolutely nothing to be concerned about! On the other hand, pay attention to these 7 factors, as they can help prevent serious heart conditions.

  1. Smoking

  2. Weight

  3. Physical activity

  4. Diet

  5. Cholesterol

  6. Fasting glucose levels

  7. Blood pressure

Top 5 Worst States for Cardiovascular Health

The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention carried out a survey based on the 7 metrics listed above and determined the 5 unhealthiest states in America based on heart health.

  1. Oklahoma – 12.5% of the population follow 2 of the metrics, 1.2% follow all 7.

  2. West Virginia – 16.2% follow less than 2 metrics, 1.5% follow all 7.

  3. Mississippi – 14.7% follow less than 2 metrics and 1.5% follow all 7.

  4. Louisiana – 13.2% follow less than 2 metrics and 1.9% follow all 7.

  5. Arkansas – 12.1% follow less than 2 metrics and 2% follow all 7.

7 Startling Statistics on Lack of Prevention

One way to avoid poor heart conditions and to stay away from your local cardiovascular hospital is to listen to your doctor!

  1. 56% of adults have been told to improve their health by physicians.

  2. Only 44% of adults monitor their blood pressure.

  3. 99% of Americans need to improve their heart health.

  4. Yet 72% of people don’t believe they are at risk from heart disease!

  5. 58% of Americans make no effort to improving cardiovascular health.

  6. 83% believe prevention is possible but take no steps towards it.

  7. 60% of adults have no idea what their cholesterol or blood pressure numbers are.

Facts about Cardiovascular Health

If you thought the previous stats on heart care were concerning, wait until you read the following!

  • An American will have a coronary episode every 25 seconds.

  • Someone in the United States dies from heart disease or a stroke every 39 seconds.

  • Almost 800,000 people will suffer their first heart attack in 2013.

  • Almost 500,000 Americans will endure their second, third, fourth, etc. heart attack.

  • 33% of all deaths in the United States are caused by stroke or heart disease.

  • Heart disease is the #1 killer in America.

  • You can reduce your risk of stroke or heart disease by 50% by lowering your blood pressure.

Counting the Cost

The amount of money being spent on treating and preventing cardiovascular disease is astronomical.

  • As of 2010, the cost of treating cardiovascular disease in the United States was over $440 billion and rising.

  • Treating cardiovascular disease accounts for 16% of health care costs in America.

  • 20 million Americans have diabetes.

  • 16 million people have coronary heart disease.

  • Women have a higher risk of having a stroke than a man over the course of their respective lifetimes.

Exercise is Paramount

Finding just a couple of hours per week to exercise could greatly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Finding just a couple of hours per week to exercise could greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. | Source

What You Need to Do

To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, you should exercise at least 150 minutes per week. This can be split into five 30-minute sessions and one should work their way up to this figure. Cycling or brisk walking counts towards your allowance, so forego television for a short time each week, your heart will thank you!

In closing, if you don't improve your heart health for yourself... Do it for the ones you love and who would be devastated if you were to expire far to young due to heart failure.

Cardiovascular Health & Heart Disease Quiz

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Heart Disease Risk for African Americans by HealthWatchMD

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    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Well researched hub on Cardiovascular Health in America. Voted up.