Heart disease is the number one killer in America. The number one killer in men and women, the number one killer in almost all ethnicities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Why is this largely preventable disease causing so much damage? In 2011 my grandfather went into the operating room to have a heart valve replaced. He died shortly after the surgery due to complications. A lifetime of poor diet and a non-preventative lifestyle led him to requiring that surgery. What could he, or any of the other people that died of heart disease that year, done?
Heart disease comes in many shapes and sizes and so do the risk factors, from a two times increase up to a six times increase of risk. According to the Center for Disease Control, high blood pressure can be the largest risk factor for heart disease. This condition occurs when the pressure of the blood in the arteries or other blood vessels is too high. It is also known as the silent killer because its symptoms go unnoticed, if untreated high blood pressure can cause damage to the brain and the other important organ tissues. About 70 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure that is about 29% of adults (CDC 2). Another large risk factor to heart disease is high cholesterol. Cholesterol, a waxy fat like substance, can build up on the walls of arteries causing restricted blood flow. The building up of cholesterol can be caused by consuming more than the body requires in our daily diets. The liver naturally makes this substance for the body (CDC 2). Last but not least, diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease by two to four times. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, helps move sugars. The sugars from the food you eat get ...
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...fesciences 2). This is the procedure my grandpa underwent, his valve was replaced with a biological valve. TAVR is an operation for people that have sever aortic stenosis or are considered high-risk. This procedure is less invasive than AVR, it allows a new valve to be inserted into the existing diseased valve. There are tree approaches, transfemoral (through the leg), transapical (in the chest, between the ribs), and transaortic (in the upper chest) (Edwards Lifesciences 2).
In the United States one in every four deaths is from heart disease that totals up to 610,000 deaths yearly (CDC 4). Even with so much loss family history, genetics and the many risk factors don’t seem to be enough to convince the United States to lead preventative lifestyles. It took the loss of my grandpa for my family to look at and change our lifestyles, what is it going to take for you?
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