When it comes to heart health, there are a few important things you should know. First and foremost, heart disease is one of the most common causes of death in both men and women. Therefore, it’s essential to take proactive steps to keep your heart healthy.
Types of Cardiovascular Disease
There are several types of cardiovascular diseases. The most common include:
- coronary artery disease
- congestive heart failure
- arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms
Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease. This occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your heart. Congestive heart failure occurs when your heart can no longer pump enough blood through your body. Arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms occur when the electrical signals in your heart become irregular. Finally, a stroke, the most serious stage of cardiovascular disease, can occur when there’s an interruption to the blood flow in the brain due to either a clot or a burst blood vessel. When you experience a stroke, oxygen and nutrients are blocked from reaching brain tissue, often resulting in permanent damage or death.
Heart Disease in the U.S.
In the United States, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease accounted for 647,000 fatalities in 2019. That’s about 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S., making it one of the most pressing risk factors for U.S. adults.
High blood pressure is another major risk factor for heart disease, as well as stroke and other heart-related conditions. One in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure and only half of those people will attempt to control their condition with lifestyle changes or medication.
How to Protect Yourself from Cardiovascular Disease
It’s important to understand the types of cardiovascular diseases and take steps to protect your heart health. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, managing stress levels, and not smoking are all great ways to reduce your risk of developing any type of cardiovascular disease. Additionally, undergoing regular heart health testing can help you catch signs or symptoms before they become serious. The most convenient way to test your heart health is with an at-home health test. Haled’s Heart & Diabetes Focused Health Test measures eight key indicators of cardiovascular health including HbA1c, High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL), hs-CRP, Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), Potassium, Sodium, Total Cholesterol, and Triglycerides.
Lowering Your Risk Factors
If the results of your heart health test show you are at risk for serious cardiovascular complications, it is important to take immediate action to improve your heart health. Initial steps are as simple as practicing healthy habits. Begin by avoiding smoking and excessive drinking, exercising regularly, eating a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels through regular health testing.
In addition to lifestyle changes, some medications can also help reduce the risks associated with heart disease. These include aspirin therapy for those at high risk and cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins. Always consult with a physician before beginning a new regimen.
Cardiovascular Disease Symptoms You Should Know
It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of serious heart disease so you can act quickly if they arise. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, heart palpitations, dizziness or lightheadedness. If any of these occur, it’s important to seek emergency medical help right away.
By following these steps and understanding the risks associated with heart health, you can take proactive measures for a healthier heart.
Don’t wait until it’s too late — implementing healthy heart practices is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. With Haled, you can measure your heart health from the comfort of your home and form a proactive health plan after receiving your private, digital results.
Get started with Haled — and a healthier heart — today!