Hi Everyone! Sorry about the delay in getting this post out – since June, I have started graduate school at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark NJ. Last semester was extremely busy, but now that I am in the swing of things, I will be focusing my efforts back on Disease Detective! Going forward, I will be making relevant posts on prevalent diseases. Enjoy!
For my first post getting back into Disease Detective, I have decided to write about Heart Disease. February is American Heart Month, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I figured this topic would be fitting. Below, I have some of the major facts and figures about Heart Disease.
- Heart Disease is not actually a single disease. The term “Heart Disease” is used to described several different types of heart conditions, including:
- Atherosclerosis (narrowed, stiffening blood vessels)
- Heart Failure
- Heart Attack
- Arrhythmia (many different types)
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Various Heart Valve Conditions
- Heart Disease is currently the leading cause of death for adults in the United States, with over 600,000 individuals dying each year (as of 2014). One American dies every minute from a condition classified under heart disease.
- Coronary heart disease alone kills over 365,000 Americans every year
- Since heart disease consists of many different conditions, there is no single set of symptoms to look for. In addition, men and women can experience different symptoms for many of the same conditions. In general, the following symptoms could be signs of an underlying heart condition caused by a atherosclerotic disease,
- Chest Pain (more common in men than in women)
- Shortness of breath (more common in women than in men)
- Pain or numbness in extremities
- If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention – Call 911!
- While it used to be considered a fatal diagnosis, Heart Disease is no longer a death sentence – many treatments exist to help patients manage their specific condition and overall health so they can continue to live long lives
- In many cases, heart disease can be treated non-invasively through the use of medications and lifestyle changes. Adopting a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking any prescription medications your doctor prescribes will help control your condition and improve your health. In some cases however, surgery may need to be performed to correct the condition before it becomes fatal.
For more information on Heart Disease, please visit:
Mayo Clinic Heart Disease Information
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