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Heart Health Roundup

15 Articles to Help You Understand Your Heart

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women and the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. While some risk factors for heart disease are genetic, the major risk factors are largely influenced by lifestyle such as diet and physical activity.

The first step in fighting any epidemic is awareness. Read on for a round-up of articles on understanding heart disease, eating heart healthy and the x-factors that contribute to living a heart healthy life.

Understanding Heart Disease

10 Things You May Not Know About Heart Disease [Infographic]
Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease, refers to most conditions caused by atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries. Most frequently, it takes the form of heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia or heart valve problems and there are a number of things people don’t know. See the infographic.

Heart Risk In Real Life
While family history and genetics can cause certain heart diseases, there are six major risk factors for heart disease that are both controllable and preventable. Making efforts to manage these factors can reduce risk for a heart attack or stroke by more than 80 percent. And yet, many people live every day with at least one risk factor. Read the full article.

Under Pressure: 5 Ways to Prevent High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is one of the most prevalent and preventable risk factors for heart disease. Hypertension can be genetic and may increase with age, but there are also a number of factors that are very manageable. And like the other manageable risk factors for heart disease, it centers on lifestyle. Read the full article.

Down with the Bad, Up with the Good: How to Maintain or Achieve Healthy Cholesterol Levels
High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart and vascular disease, and it affects millions of people. In fact, in the United States alone, 73.5 million adults have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. The good news is, there are many things a person can do to lower the bad and raise the good. Read the full article.

Heart Risk and Inherited Cholesterol
According to research from Northwestern Medicine, the risk of developing coronary heart disease significantly increases for those with genetically inherited high cholesterol. About 1.5 million people in the United States have a form of high cholesterol called familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder that prevents the liver from removing excess low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol from the blood. Read the full article.

Heart Attack Warning Signs [Infographic]
Acute chest pain is the most common warning sign of heart attacks in both men and women. While men occasionally report nausea or dizziness, women are significantly more likely to experience atypical symptoms, sometimes leading them to disregard the signs. When in doubt, check it out. See the infographic.

Eating Well for Heart Health

10 Simple Rules for Eating Heart Healthy
Your heart is an organ that affects, and is affected by, nearly all aspects of your life – including diet. Healthy food choices can reduce your risk of heart diseaseheart attack and stroke as well as specific risk factors. Making the right food choices can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. Read the full article.

Disordered Eating and Your Heart
Disordered eating is another condition that is closely connected to and by your physical, psychological and social health. Often times it stems from extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors related to weight and food. Anorexia nervosa, in particular, can be harmful to your heart and heart damage is the most common reason for hospitalization in people with this form of disordered eating. Read full article.

The Heart Value of Being Vegetarian
Nutrition is an essential component of heart health. Eating well can help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure as well as a healthy weight. And a vegetarian diet may be particularly good at ensuring your body gets the nutrients your heart needs. Your heart can benefit from any of these vegetarian diets in a number of ways. Read full article.

How to Treat Yourself to Chocolate: 5 Rules for Heart Healthy Indulgence
The thought that a bar of chocolate or a decadent devil’s food cake could be good for you is a dream come true for anyone with a sweet tooth. And, to a certain extent, the science backs it up. But the devil’s in the details: There’s a considerable difference between the cocoa that reduces risk factors for heart disease, stroke and diabetes and the candy bar you pick up in the check out aisle. Read full article.

The Early Impact of a Heart Healthy Diet
A balanced and nutritious diet is smart to have at any age, but people most often begin paying attention to what they eat when they’re older. However, a recent study from Northwestern Medicine suggests that a healthy diet in young adulthood might decrease the likelihood of heart disease later in life. Read full article.


5 Surprising Facts About Diabetes
Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans so chances are, this disease impacts your aunt, co-worker, friend, neighbor or someone else you know. Despite its prevalence, there are probably a few things you don’t know about diabetes – and they may even surprise you. Read full article.

Find Time to Exercise
When you’re trying to get in shape, finding the time can be one of the biggest obstacles to success. It’s hard to form healthy new habits, harder still when you’re fitting them into a busy schedule. But whether your lifestyle lends itself to a gym routine or multitask workout, it’s easier than you may think to make time to exercise. Read full article.

Are You Stressed?
Stress not only affects your body directly, it can also lead to unhealthy habits and behaviors, many of which can increase your risk of heart disease. Most people have a fairly good understanding of their own stress levels, and appropriate attention to monitoring and maintaining your emotional health can make stress easier to handle. Still, in a busy life, stress can sometimes get out of hand without you realizing it. Read full article.

One Less Round: Tips for Cutting Back on Alcohol
The CDC lists excessive alcohol use as a lifestyle choice that can put people at higher risk for heart disease. Drinking alcohol is overwhelmingly prevalent in everyday life. From after work drinks and dinner parties to promotions and birthdays, there are endless occasions that offer alcohol as anything from a social lubricant to an outright assumption. Read full article.