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Nearly Half of all US Adults Have Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure

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A startling report released by the American Heart Association shows that nearly half of US adults have some form of cardiovascular disease. Paired with the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, these findings clearly show that this issue is only getting worse.

The report comprised of experts sifting through data originating from a wide range of sources, which provided detailed statistics on cardiovascular disease heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure. The results gleaned from this study show that 48% of American adults, nearly 121.5 million people, suffer from some form of heart disease. It also found the number of deaths caused by heart disease rose from 836,546 in 2015 to 840,678 in 2016.

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Experts say that this figure is caused by a number of lifestyle factors, including smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise. Federal guidelines recommend that adult get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, though in reality, only about 22.5% are reaching this figure.

Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease, and while rates of smoking are in a decline, it still isn’t enough to make a difference. Adult smoking rates have dropped by 7% in the past three years, though there are still millions of adults who smoke every day. There is some hope though, as teen and young adult smoking rates have plummeted to nearly 95% identifying as nonsmokers.

Obesity also counts itself as a major factor in causing heart disease. The report states that nearly 40% of adults, along with 18.5% of kids are classified as obese. Of these stats, 7.7% of adults were classified as severely obese.

Of all these factors, it’s important to point out that if managed, the risk of heart disease can be relatively easy to mitigate. However, the report points out that many Americans just aren’t being proactive when it comes to doing so. Nearly 80% of all heart disease can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

If you’re worried about your risk for heart disease, it is important to develop healthy habits like quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet low in fat, and doing your best to maintain a healthy weight. Try to stay active throughout your day. If you sit at a desk for eight hours, try taking short 5-10 minute breaks and go for a quick walk outside. It is also important to know and understand your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, and get regular physical check ups with your physician.

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Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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