Thursday, December 11, 2014

Heart Disease, Stroke and Research

Let’s talk numbers.

These stats were compiled by the American Heart Association. They’re from the association’s 2014 Heart and Stroke Statistics Update.


Here we go…

Heart Disease is the No.1 cause of death in the world and the leading cause of death in the United States.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined.


Over the last ten years for which statistics are available, the death rate from heart disease has fallen about 39 percent.

That’s good news.

That means we are getting the word out, people are exercising more, eating healthier. That means we are fighting back. Hard. But there are still miles to go.

On to Stroke.

Stroke is the number 5 cause of death in this country, killing more than 129,000 people a year.
Stroke is a leading cause of disability BUT it’s also the leading preventable cause of disability. That bears repeating. The leading PREVENTABLE cause of disability. Good to know.

African-Americans have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than whites. I'm African-American and I live in, what they call, the Stroke Belt. Fried foods, lack of exercise, smoking, all those things ratchet up the chances for having a stroke. The American Stroke Association helps get that knowledge out there and it's making a difference.

Let me give you more good news.

Since 2004 the death rate from stroke has fallen about 36 percent.

That makes me think of what my father told me. He said when he was younger and people had a stroke? They would just sit on the front porch and wave slowly at the passersby. My how times have changed and I’m living proof of that. More and more survivors live through massive strokes, like I did, and live to have productive lives. Making it through the fire.

More numbers.

About 78 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure. Of that number, about 75 percent of those are using antihypertensive medication, but only 53 percent of those have their condition controlled.

Around 43 percent of Americans have total cholesterol levels of 200 or higher. Almost 20 million people here have Type 2 diabetes, and that rate is growing.

There's more.

Smoking? White men are in the highest percentile, African-American men and white women are right behind.

Most Americans older than 20 are overweight or obese, that's about 155 million adults. And children? About 24 million are overweight, close to 13 million are obese. Prime subjects for heart disease.

The numbers go on and on and many of them fall under the ‘danger straight ahead!’ category.  But I always say, the more you know about things, the more you can change them.

The American Heart Association doesn't conduct research rather they use donations to fund research PROJECTS.  They fund more research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke than any other organization except for the federal government. They are leading the way for us to beat this.

And THAT, my friends, is the best news.

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