Heart disease develops later in life and only affects men.
Anyone, including children, can develop heart disease. It is the leading cause of death in both men and women.
At least 48% of adults in the U.S. were found to have some form of cardiovascular disease according to the latest statistics from the American Heart Association. With an average mortality rate reaching more than 600,000 each year, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most ethnic groups.
While some cardiovascular diseases are present at birth, the most common is coronary artery disease, which progresses over time and is fueled by years of unhealthy habits. With today’s high rates of obesity, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure, younger adults are at risk of developing heart disease earlier in life.
There are, however, risk factors that you can control.
Quit Smoking: One of every three deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) is caused by smoking.
Be Active: Regular physical activity can reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol numbers, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Manage Blood Pressure:High blood pressure can cause serious damage by forcing your heart to work harder. If left uncontrolled, high blood pressure can be fatal.
Get Cholesterol Checked: Unhealthy cholesterol levels don’t cause symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol checked every five years or more frequently if levels are high.
Heart disease requires a medical diagnosis. Several tests can be performed from electrocardiogram (ECG) to chest x-ray, stress test, CT scan, cardiac catheterization, and more. Once diagnosed, your doctor will form a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.