America’s Heart Disease Epidemic

Heart disease is a major problem in this country, and it all seems to be swept under a rug of complacency.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, claiming close to 1 million lives every year. This accounts to 1 in every 4 deaths, and is steadily rising each year.  Every 33 seconds someone in the U.S. dies from a cardiovascular disease.  This is roughly the equivalent of a September 11th tragedy happening every 24 hours for 365 days a year.


It is projected that by 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death, not only in the U.S., but the entire world. Although heart disease is genetic, other factors mainly contribute to this high number of deaths, such as lifestyle and diet.  To understand what heart disease is, we must understand what are the main contributing factors that cause it to then understand how to stop it.  Smoking, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol levels are the biggest factors, with obesity and diabetes nipping at its heels.  All the factors that cause heart disease are all preventable.


For instance, smoking is a choice that leads to being addicted to it, but even then there are ways to stop using it.  High blood pressure can be battled by exercising, meditating, eating better, or even owning a pet.  Cholesterol levels can be moderated and maintained all by diet.  All of these risk factors are mostly self-induced, and can be controlled and prevented with determination, willpower, and above all, knowledge.


The sad thing about this disease is that doctors will not be asking you how active you are, how much you exercise, or what wholly compromises your food intake.  The problem is that your doctor is not a nutritionist, and there are growing reports of inadequate nutrition education in medical schools.  There is a minimum requirement of 25 hours of nutritional instruction for doctors, but most medical schools do not even meet this minimum for their students.  This is not to say that all doctors are alike, and will not broach these subjects and do nothing to help treat this disease.  It is highly likely that most doctors will just prescribe you pharmaceuticals for lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which once again can be prevented by natural methods.


With this big of an epidemic, people should be marching in the streets.  With the threat of the Ebola Virus hitting America, people were up in arms and so worried that it would spread across the land and to their loved ones… but what about the spread of ignorance that is heart disease?

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