Every year, over 800,000 people die from heart attack and stroke. According to a report released Tuesday of this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 200,000 of those deaths could have been prevented had the patients been given proper health insurance.
The belief behind this theory is that health insurance will encourage a proactive treatment of heart disease, instead of a reactive one. Patients who have health insurance are more likely to visit the doctor and are able to catch symptoms that indicate poor heart health early.
Cholesterol level and blood pressure are the two greatest indicators of heart health. While cholesterol is vital in order for the body to properly function, high levels may narrow the arteries, reduce sufficient blood flow, and increase the risk of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the force of blood against arterial walls is high enough that it may result in heart disease or stroke.
Having proper health insurance isn’t the only way to help keep your heart healthy, and while genetic history may play a role in your heart’s condition, there are several lifestyle behaviors you can adopt to protect your heart.
- Drop the pack. Tobacco use is the most significant factor in developing heart disease. The chemicals found in smokeless tobacco and cigarettes damage the blood vessels and arteries, leading to heart attack or stroke.
- Pop a pill. But only if it is recommended by your doctor. Taking one aspirin daily reduces the body’s ability to form blood clots, consequently reducing your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Make sure to always check with your health provider before beginning a new treatment.
- Pick up the weights. If only for 30 minutes a day, regular exercise can boost heart health and decrease your risk of heart disease. Physical activity will help control your weight, thus putting less strain on your heart to pump blood throughout the body.
- Eat for your heart. Loading up on nutrients and reducing the amount of fats and sodium in your diet is an easy way to avoid heart disease. Also, limit alcoholic intake to one drink a day for women or two for men.
- Be proactive. Pursue your goal of a healthy heart the same way you would any other goal, actively. Get screened regularly for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. If something does come up, chances are you will have enough time to combat it before something even worse occurs.
The CDC believes the federal mandate on health insurance will ultimately help reduce the number of deaths due to heart disease and stroke. By taking a proactive approach to your health, you can prepare for the road ahead in your health and even prevent medical conditions before they happen.
Virtual Imaging is the gold standard in identifying arterial breakdowns. The non-invasive, state-of-the-art equipment used in the EBT HeartScan examines the heart at speeds 10 times faster than conventional scanners and presents images that are precise and informative. These scans will help you determine if it is time to seek treatment for your heart, before it’s too late.
The information obtained through our heart scans is combined with clinical information to create an individualized action plan for you and your doctor. To learn more about the Virtual Imaging EBT HeartScan call us at 770.730.0119 or visit at VirtualImagingATL.com. Taking a proactive approach in your heart health is the number one way to prevent cardiovascular disease, so don’t wait one more day. Take a proactive approach on your heart health!