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Cardiovascular Disease


  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the #1 cause of death in America for both men and women.
  • More than 2,600 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 33 seconds.
  • CVD claims almost 10,500 more lives each year than the next 6 leading causes of death.
  • CVD claimed 949,619 lives in the U.S. in 1998. This is 40% of all deaths, or one of every 2.5 deaths. By comparison 541,532 people died from all forms of cancer.
  • Over 60 million Americans have CVD according to current estimates by the American Heart Association.
  • More women have died from heart disease per year than men since 1984.
  • One-third of angioplasties (an intervention to open a blocked artery) fail within six months
  • 50% of bypass surgeries fail within 5 years.
  • By changing your lifestyle you can limit the progression of and even reverse heart disease

Risk Factors for CVD
A risk factor is a condition or behavior that increases your risk of disease. The more risk factors you have, the higher your chances of having cardiovascular disease, now or in the future. Non-modifiable (fixed) risk factors cannot be controlled. Modifiable risk factors can be controlled, treated, or prevented.

Non-modifiable (fixed) Risk Factors
Family History
Male gender
Menopausal female

Modifiable Risk Factors
High cholesterol
Diabetes Mellitus
Sedentary lifestyle
Psychosocial factors (hostility, depression, isolation)

Family History: Myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or sudden death before age 55 in father, brother or son or before age 65 in mother, sister, or daughter.

Age: Men > or = 45 years of age, or women > or = 55 years of age

High cholesterol: Total cholesterol of > or = 200 mg/dl or HDL < 40

Hypertension: Systolic blood pressure of > or = 140 mmHg or diastolic > or = 90 mmHg, confirmed by measurements on at least two separate occasions, or on anti-hypertensive medication.

Impaired Fasting Glucose: Fasting blood glucose of > or = 110 mg/dl confirmed by measurements on at least two separate occasions.

Smoking: Current cigarette smoking or quit within the previous six months.

Obesity: Body mass index of > or = 30 kg/m2 or waist girth of > 100 cm

Sedentary Lifestyle: Persons not participating in a regular exercise program or meeting the minimal physical activity recommendations from the U.S. Surgeon General's report (accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most days of the week).

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