- An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, smoking, and high blood pressure are all contributing factors to the prevalence of heart disease in the United States.
- To reduce the risk of developing heart disease, individuals should focus on incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet.
- They should also engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day.
- Communities can take a proactive approach to reducing the incidence of heart disease through some community improvements.
Heart disease is a growing problem in the United States, with more than 610,000 people dying of heart-related illnesses every year. While this number is staggering, it doesn’t have to remain so high. Instead, it’s a problem that’s growing every day. To combat this issue, you need to understand why heart disease is so prevalent in the U.S. and what you can do to reduce its impact on people’s lives.
Heart Disease in the U.S.
Heart disease is a complex disease in the U.S. Here’s a look at 4 of the most common reasons for high rates of heart disease in the country.
The Standard American Diet (also known as SAD) is full of unhealthy fats and processed foods linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Overeating saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels, putting extra strain on your heart and causing you to work harder than it should. To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, you should incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet and whole grains and lean proteins like poultry and fish instead of red meat or processed meats like bacon or cold cuts.
Lack of Exercise
Another major factor contributing to high heart disease rates in the U.S. is physical inactivity or lack of exercise among adults over 18 years old.
To maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk for heart disease, you should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, such as walking or jogging at a slow pace or taking part in some form of sport or recreational activity with friends or family members (e.g., basketball, tennis).
Smoking cigarettes has been linked with an increased risk for many chronic diseases, including cancer, stroke, and—you guessed it—heart disease!
Smoking increases your blood pressure and decreases levels of oxygen in the body, both of which can put extra strain on your cardiovascular system and increase your risk for developing coronary artery disease (CAD), a type of heart condition that puts you at greater risk for having a heart attack or stroke due to narrowed arteries leading from your heart to other parts of your body that are caused by plaque buildup over time from smoking cigarettes regularly or using other forms of tobacco products (e.g., snus).
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure — also called hypertension — is another factor that contributes significantly to high rates of heart disease in the United States because it increases strain on your cardiovascular system by forcing your arteries to carry more blood than they are designed to carry without putting extra stress on them over time. This makes them weaker and more prone to rupture due to plaque buildup from cholesterol levels increasing beyond normal limits due primarily but not exclusively from poor diet choices over time combined with a lack exercise engaging activities.
How the U.S. Communities Can Deal With This
Communities can take a proactive approach to reduce the incidence of heart disease in their area. Here are some ways to do that:
Tracking the health of individuals in the community is essential to identify those at risk for heart disease and intervene before it’s too late. A mobile community app can be developed to track individuals’ activity, diet, and other factors related to heart health. This can also be a support group to motivate and support those individuals.
Creating an environment in the community where people feel supported and encouraged to make positive changes to their lifestyle can go a long way in reducing the risk of heart disease. This could include providing access to healthy food options, building walking paths for physical activity, or organizing recreational activities promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Educating people about the risk factors of heart disease and how to reduce them can be a powerful tool in fighting this condition. Educational programs can be set up in communities that provide information on healthy lifestyle choices, such as physical activity and nutrition, so people know how to take action and improve their heart health.
Heart disease is a growing problem in the U.S., but with a proactive approach and education, communities can work together to reduce its impact on people’s lives. Communities can start by following the tips mentioned above. With these actions, it’s possible to turn the tide on this growing problem and save lives.