You’ve all heard this fact before: heart disease (including heart attacks and heart failure) is the leading cause of death among American men and women, claiming around 600,000 lives each year. But what are you doing about it? Are you and your family working on the controllable risk factors that play a role in this largely preventable disease?
For example, how are you doing with these controllable risk factors?
During American Heart Month this February, it’s the perfect time to ride the momentum of your New Year’s resolutions and move towards a more heart-healthy lifestyle. That means making small to large changes in your daily routine that really pay off. From what you eat to how much walking you do, take stock of what you can control…and share your experiences with other PatientsLikeMe members.
Not sure where to start? Use a BMI calculator to find out whether your Body Mass Index (BMI) falls within a healthy range. Also, make sure you go in for an annual checkup this year, which will give you and your doctor a chance to look at your cholesterol, blood pressure and heartbeat. That way, if there’s a red flag anywhere, you can start doing something about it sooner rather than later.
Also, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the warning signs of a heart attack – and how they may be different for men and women. Here’s to keeping the blood pumping this year and many more!
- Filed Under: Conditions, Patient Experiences
- Tags: American Heart Month, blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, controllable risk factors, diabetes, heart attack, heart attack warning signs, heart disease, heart failure, heart-healthy lifestyle, obesity, physical activity, risk factors, tobacco addiction
We’ve written about how smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. We’ve also highlighted some of the treatments that our 4,000+ members who report tobacco addiction have tried in their quest to quit.
But today, in honor of World No Tobacco Day, we’d like to focus on the global consequences of secondhand smoke, or the smoke that fills restaurants, offices, homes and other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products. Given that there are one billion smokers around the world, secondhand smoke (also known as “passive smoking”) has become a serious public health issue.
How serious? Deadly serious. Here are ten hard-hitting facts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the sponsor of World No Tobacco Day.
- There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
- There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful.
- More than 600,000 premature deaths are caused by secondhand smoke each year.
- In 2004, children accounted for 31% of the deaths attributable to secondhand smoke.
- Over 40% of children around the world have at least one parent who smokes.
- Almost half of all children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
- Secondhand smoke can cause sudden death in infants and low birth weight in pregnant women.
- Cigarettes, bidis and water pipes all produce secondhand smoke.
- Less than 11% of the world’s population is protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
- Research shows that smoke-free laws do not harm business – and in fact, are popular.
Want to show your support for World No Tobacco Day? Join the cause on Facebook. If you live in the US, you can also check this map to see your state or city’s laws regarding smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces.
- Filed Under: Patient Experiences
- Tags: cigarettes, one billion smokers, passive smoking, public health issue, secondhand smoke statistics, secondhand smoking, smoke-free laws, smoking, smoking cessation treatments, smoking in restaurants, smoking in workplace, tobacco addiction, World Health Organization, World No Tobacco Day