Heart Disease Deaths Decline 27.8% — Now let’s do our part and commit to healthy living

Heart Disease Deaths

 We are continuing to put ourselves at risk for getting heart and circulatory diseases through improper diets, lack of exercise, and even the continuation of smoking. “As risk factors for coronary disease increase in a population, we also expect the future incidence of coronary disease to increase within the population. Control of risk factors is critical in the prevention of coronary disease,” said Edward K. Kasper, clinical director of cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and co-author with me of Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition. And Daniel Levy, director of the Framingham Heart Study says that with regard to heart failure, “in the majority of cases, it is preventable.”  That is an amazing statement.
Dr. Roger urges people to take responsibility for their risk of getting cardiovascular diseases through personal “risk factor management.”

Most of us know what to do.  We just need to start doing it. 

We need to lose weight. Two out of three of us should lose weight! Even losing a little weight can improve your chance of avoiding heart disease. We need to control our blood pressure and cholesterol.  One-third of adults have high blood pressure but only 48% of those aware of their condition have their blood pressure controlled to a safe level. We need to eat less sodium, less saturated fats, and NO trans fats. We need to eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and unsaturated fats. We need to exercise regularly, and some of that exercise should be vigorous enough to give our hearts a workout, which means breaking into a sweat or increasing our heart rate and starting to breathe faster and heavier. Stop smoking and if you have not started, don’t smoke.

I am going to renew my commitment to heart-healthy daily habits and I ask you to join me.  A colleague on Twitter got in touch just yesterday to say she has put on some weight and do I have advice.  Well, I have put on some weight, too.  I need to do better at eating right every day and doing the right exercises every day.  Let’s make this commitment together.  As winter approaches, it is all the easier to fall into bad habits of not exercising, sitting too much, and eating too much.  In the coming weeks, I’ll discuss our goals in more detail.  Adopting these healthy daily habits is the best present you could give your loved ones this holiday season.