6 Myths About Heart Disease Debunked
February is American Heart Month, which is a good time to take stock of your ticker to make sure you’re doing all you can to remain healthy and happy.
An astonishing one in three death occurs because of heart disease and stroke – that comes out to roughly 2,220 deaths daily. If you think you know all there is to know about heart disease, think again. To help you and your family, here are the five biggest myths about heart disease:
IT ONLY AFFECTS OLDER PEOPLE
One in three Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease, but not everyone is someone you can classify as a senior citizen. The statistics are apt to change, as well, thanks to the rise of obesity and diabetes among people in a younger age bracket. Smoking and skyrocketing cholesterol numbers also contribute to the chances a younger person may be afflicted with heart disease.
BREAST CANCER IS MORE DANGEROUS TO WOMEN THAN HEART DISEASE
There’s no question the fight to beat breast cancer is a noble one and a pressing cause, but it’s important to note that more women die from heart disease than any type of cancer. New Orleans-based cardiologist Richard Milani, of Ochsner Health Center, said, “The leading cause of death in women is heart disease, by a long shot. It beats the living daylights out of all forms of cancer.” In fact, younger women who smoke and take birth control are 20% more like to face some sort of heart issue.
EXERCISE ALONE CAN PREVENT HEART DISEASE
Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but, unfortunately, it’s not a foolproof way to stop heart disease. Yes, it can help you lose weight and lower cholesterol, which are important factors when it comes to fighting heart disease, but there are other factors beyond your control, including your gender, your age and family history of disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Working out is a good place to start, but it's merely one way to combat heart disease.
GENETICS DETERMINE YOUR FATE
Much like exercise, genetics are only one part of the heart disease puzzle. Just because your great-grandfather suffered a heart attack does not mean you will, too. Yes, genes play a role, but don’t forget that your lifestyle also plays a key role. Keep that in mind the next time you chow down on some red meat or light up a cigarette. So, if you come from a family where heart attacks are common, you can ward off that fate by eating vegetables, fruits, exercising and avoiding stress.
VITAMINS AND SPECIAL DIETS CAN PREVENT IT
Low-carb diets and high-protein diets may be trendy, but they come with risk. A low-carb diet, for instance, can cause more problems for people who already have heart disease and a high-protein diet restricts consumption of fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association does not support either diet. Vitamins are also not a surefire way to fend off heart disease. Vitamin B does not reduce the risk of heart disease and vitamin E lowers the chances of neither heart attack nor stroke. The AHA encourages people to get their fill of these vitamins from ah healthy diet where they are naturally.
YOU’LL KNOW WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A HEART ATTACK
We’ve all seen it in the movies – someone grabs his heart and makes a dramatic scene as he falls to the ground. Well, a heart attack isn’t always so intense. There might be other signs to keep an eye on, including shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadness and pain in the arms, mouth, neck or back.