Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.See all posts »
The State of the Heart
Although we often think of heart disease as something that happens to old folks, about 45 percent of heart attacks happen before the age of 65, and one in twenty occur in people under 40. Although technology and medications are saving more lives than ever, heart attacks are on the rise in women under 50, thanks primarily to our unhealthy lifestyles. Even scarier, we are now starting to see cholesterol buildup in the arteries of people in their teens and twenties. The cost of all this misery? Over $500 billion in 2010.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the great news: as much as 85 percent of cardiovascular disease is preventable. It is estimated that 70 percent can be attributed solely to lifestyle (including preventable high blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol), and 15 percent to unavoidable but treatable risk factors. Perhaps 15 percent is pure genetics, although we also know that heredity can affect the way our bodies react to a wide range of risk factors.
What’ s more, living a heart healthy lifestyle will reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction and early menopause, strengthen your bones, reduce your risk o f depression, improve your productivity at work, and help you to look good and feel great.
In my upcoming Healthline posts, I will give you the tools you need to keep your heart strong and healthy, whether you are already living with heart disease, or are intent on preventing it. I would love to hear from you about the issues you find most compelling or confusing, and I look forward to helping you discover optimal health.
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