Heart Disease

591549_98492151As the number one cause of death in the United States, heart disease is a major problem that is overtaking the nation. Nearly 600,000 people die of heart disease every year, which equates to about one in four deaths. As a chronic and progressive disease, not much can be done to prevent the deterioration of the heart once the disease takes hold.

While there are many different forms of heart disease, the most common cause is a narrowing of the coronary arteries, which are what supply blood to the heart itself. After time, these may become blocked entirely, causing a heart attack. There are many different causes of heart disease, which include:

  • Smoking
  • High amounts of fat and cholesterol¬† in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • High amounts of sugar in the blood
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Genetics

Other risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Age
  • Being a male
  • Being of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, or Asian decent

After being diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor may prescribe you with certain medications to help your heart achieve a higher level of function. In addition, there are certain lifestyle changes you must make in order to manage your disease. Your home health nurse or therapist will help you with:

  • Stress reduction education
  • A heart healthy diet
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Medication management
  • Angioplasty or coronary artery bypass grafting aftercare

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