Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease in Half
Despite the attention paid to cancer, heart disease remains the number one killer of men and women in the developed world. A new study shows that controlling two major risk factors—high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure—can slash a person’s risk of heart disease by half, or more.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that fewer than one-third of Americans at risk for heart disease had both conditions under control, according to new research by the American Heart Association, published in the medical journal, Circulation. Experts note that going to see your doctor at least twice a year can help, as can medications to control blood lipids and high blood pressure.
To that, I would add that most risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including obesity, insulin resistance (prediabetes), high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids (including high LDL-cholesterol) and chronic stress, can also be addressed effectively with lifestyle modifications. Eating a healthy, plant-based diet, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, drinking plenty of water, and enjoying some alcohol in moderation, and maintaining a healthy body weight are all behaviors that can contribute to heart health.
American Heart Association (2013, July 1). Controlling blood pressure, cholesterol may significantly cut heart disease risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 2, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2013/07/130701163847.htm
Egan BM, Jiexiang Li, Suparna Qanungo, and Wolfman TE. Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Control in Hypertensive Hypercholesterolemic Patients: National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 1988–2010 Circulation. 2013;128:29-41, doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.000500