Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

What You Should Know About Heart Disease

Whether you are a relatively healthy person or not, there are important facts that you need to know about heart disease. This condition affects millions of people every year and is something that should be taken very seriously. Before you go rushing off to the cardiac care center to get tested for heart issues, learn some of these important facts you should know about heart disease. Then, you can be sure that you take the necessary steps in your life to take care of your heart health going forward.

One in Four Americans Die of Heart Disease Every Year

One of the most important facts to know about heart disease is that one in four Americans die of heart disease every year. That equates to about 647,000 people. This number is staggering and just goes to show that heart disease should be taken seriously by everyone. 

Heart Disease Includes Many Different Conditions

Heart disease is a blanket term that covers numerous different heart problems and conditions (as well as cardiac events). Heart attacks and strokes are included under the umbrella of heart disease, as is high blood pressure. 

Heart disease most commonly refers to coronary artery disease. This is a condition in which the arteries in the heart develop a buildup of fatty deposits known as plaque which narrows and hardens the arteries. This makes it harder for the blood to pump through these arteries and can lead to a heart attack. 

Smoking Increases Your Risk

If you are a smoker, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Smoking has many effects on the heart and cardiovascular system. One of those effects is a tightening of the arteries, and if the arteries are already narrowed because of plaque buildup, this can lead very quickly to severe cardiac episodes. 

Smoking raises your blood pressure as well. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. With all of this in mind, if you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. 

Heart Disease Can Affect You at Any Age

You can develop heart disease at any age. While heart issues are more common in people over the age of 65, around 20 percent of heart disease-related deaths occur in people under the age of 65. 

Because heart disease can affect you at any age, it is never too early (or too late) to start taking care of your heart health. One way to do that is to schedule yourself an appointment at a cardiac care center to get a full work-up and get yourself checked out. 

Now that you know some of the main facts about heart disease, you can be sure you seek out the care of a cardiac care center if you feel your heart health may be at risk.