So what is the world’s deadliest disease? Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), was “the most common cause of death” globally, circa 2014. CAD resulted in 8,140,000 deaths. In 2010, about 20% of those over 65 had CAD in the United States. Seven per cent of those between the ages of 45 and 64 had CAD, and 1.3 per cent of those between the ages of 18 and 45 had the disease. More men than woman, in any given age, usually have CAD. So this is a disease that kills the most people, because it’s not hard to get. We all do the things that cause this disease. Factors include smoking, lack of exercise, obesity, poor diet, excessive alcohol, and more. Poor habits causing diabetes, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol, all cause CAD. Even depression can lead to CAD. It’s usually prevented by eating a healthy diet, and all the normal things. Regular exercise, not smoking, and not drinking everyday. The good news is that, since 1980, risk of death from CAD has decreased in the developed world.
So what is Coronary Artery Disease? It is a disease, of the most common types of cardiovascular diseases. Diseases that involve the heart and blood vessels. Common symptoms include chest pains. And also: discomfort in the shoulders, neck, arms, back, and jaw. Shortness of breath is also a symptom. And sometimes the disease occurs with no symptoms at all. The first sign of CAD is usually when you have a heart attack, heart failure, or an irregular heartbeat.
Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The World’s Deadliest Disease.
10. Anti-Depressants & Your Heart
It’s a catch 22. Untreated chronic depression is a known risk factor for heart disease. Do certain antidepressants pose a risk to heart disease? It is now becoming a subject of speculation within the past five years. Some sources say antidepressants may not pose a risk for heart disease. But some studies are starting to turn the other way, and say of antidepressants, “some but not all antidepressant drugs known as SSRIs pose a very small but serious heart risk.”
According to Nursing Times, researchers examined the medical records of 38,397 patients, who used antidepressants, and had also had an electrocardiogram (ECG). They found an association between some of the drugs of study, and a disturbed state of electrical activity of the heart, which increased at higher doses of the medication. These antidepressants included the SSRIs citalopram, escitalopram, and the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline. The percentage of risk of heart disease did not vary much between the medications.
9. Soda Sucks Life Away Slowly
Start swapping that soda for black or green tea. Or even water. Sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. One study followed 40,000 men for two decades. According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, researchers found that those who averaged one can of sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack, or dying from a heart attack, than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks. The Nurses’ Health Study tracked almost 90,000 women over two decades. Researchers found that women who drank more than two servings of sugary beverage a day had a 40% higher risk of heart attacks, or death from heart disease. Finally, they found this last piquant point: having an otherwise healthy diet, or being a healthy weight, only slightly diminished the risk associated with drinking sugary beverages.
8. It’s Best To Avoid Watching Too Much TV
Prolonged television viewing is the most prevalent and pervasive sedentary behavior in industrialized countries. It’s also associated with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. The Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics (University of Southern Denmark) pulled together 8 studies. They found the risk of all-cause mortality appeared to increase with TV viewing duration greater than three hours per day. Studies have also found that people who watch more than seven hours of TV per week tend to sleep less and weigh more. It’s also known that prolonged sedentary time leads to harmful health outcomes, regardless of physical activity. Watching too much TV has terrible effects on your health. It will disrupt your metabolism. Sitting for more than two hours a day is a proven harmful factor towards your health, even if you do go to the gym everyday.
7. Baldness Can Indicate Trouble
Baldness indicates high testosterone levels. And although testosterone is a vital hormone, too much testosterone can raise blood pressure, thicken artery walls, and increase the tendency of blood to clot. All such things give to heart disease, and explains why more men suffer from heart disease than women.
Baldness was the third strongest risk factor for heart disease in an 11-year study for heart disease involving more than 22,000 male doctors between 40 and 84 years of age. Behind both high blood pressure and fat deposits in the eye. A receding hairline only slightly increased chances of heart disease. But men with “vertex” baldness, or crown hair loss, had much more chances of heart disease, by 32-36%. Harvard Medical School researchers also found hair loss correlates with heart disease. How fast it occurs, when it started, and even its site on the head, are all used to predict heart disease.
6. Alcohol In Moderation
Alcohol has both good and bad qualities. Much like another drink that I will cover later in this list. A recent analysis, combining 84 authoritative studies, has produced interesting conclusions. The study states, “the lowest risk of coronary heart disease mortality occurred with 1–2 drinks a day, but for stroke mortality it occurred with ≤1 drink per day. Secondary analysis of mortality from all causes showed lower risk for drinkers compared with non-drinkers.”
Howard LeWine (M.D., Chief Medical Editor / Internet Publishing / Harvard Health Publications) has stated that moderate drinkers have it good. Showing lower risks for many of the things talked about in this article. Including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and heart/blood vessel disease. And finally, a “13% lower risk of dying from any cause.” The medical community urges you not to start drinking if you already abstain. And not to expect the same health benefits from over-drinking.
5. Sex Is Good For Your Heart
A huge cause of heart disease is stress, so sexual activity serves as the stress reliever. According to a British study, three to four orgasms a week offers men protection against heart attacks and strokes. And having an active sex life cuts a man’s risk of dying from heart disease by half. 2,500 men aged 49 to 54 were subjects of one such study. Those having sex three times a week cut their likelihood of cardiovascular death by half. For woman, having a healthy sex life seems to equate to good health as well. Although it is still unclear how healthy it could make a woman’s heart.
It’s also known that if you are having difficulty having sex, this could be a symptom of heart disease. Erectile dysfunction is a possible warning sign of heart disease. ED has predicted heart problems by up to five years in advance.
4. Your Environment Affects Your Heart
Your environment affects your heart. Even as you filter out factors such as education, income, or career status. Your environment is an unexpected but crucial factor towards your health. In 2001, a study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that it matters what neighborhood you live in. The study showed people in lower-income neighborhoods were at greater risk of heart disease. Up to three times more likely to develop the disease than their contemporaries with similar annual salaries, Alma Mater status, etc. According to a German study, exposure to heavy traffic doubles your risk of having a heart attack. And another study has produced similar findings, finding almost double the instances of cardiopulmonary death among people living near a major road. “[…] change where you live or spend time in; places where the air quality isn’t so toxic,” says Malissa J. Wood (M.D., Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program / Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center).
3. A “Broken Heart” Is Literally A Broken Heart
Things associated with heartbreak can actually heighten your risk for having a heart attack, such as the death of a loved one or a breakup. A study done at the University College London showed relationship problems increased a subject’s risk of having a heart attack by 34%. Such relationships included a lack of support and an increase in stress levels. Of 102 cases of sudden death, thirteen happened on the anniversary of the death of a parent. Psychiatrist George L. Engel has detailed many cases of people dying soon after a loved one.
Studies also show people in healthy marriages have lower risks of heart disease, by up to 12%. This study only encompassed people under the age of 50. People over the age of 50 seemed less reactive to emotional stress. So remember, keeping your figurative “heart” healthy also keeps your physical heart healthy.
2. Coffee Is A Frenemy
Coffee has many associations with heart disease, both negative and positive. It is uncertain whether high caffeine intake increases the risk of coronary heart disease. This is still under study. But long-term moderate coffee intake is not thought to cause harm to healthy people. Moderate coffee intake may protect against the dreaded type 2 diabetes. And there’s good news for people who drink three to five cups of coffee a day. Moderate drinkers have the lowest risk of having calcium deposits in their coronary arteries.
Negative effects of coffee use are most likely due to high daily caffeine intakes. Consuming more than four cups of coffee a day has associations with shorter life spans. And there is a direct link between caffeine consumption and coronary heart disease, including increased blood pressure, and “bad” cholesterol. Many conclusive studies recommend that you consume no more than two to four cups of coffee a day.
1. Happiness Is Good For Your Heart
Researchers found that the happiest people were 22% less likely to develop heart disease. It’s documented that people with depression are more likely to have many heart attacks. Anything that makes you happy is going to lower your risk of heart disease. And the old saying holds up here, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Health experts now have proof that laughter helps keep your heart healthy. A good hearty laugh sends a positive surge of blood flowing throughout your entire body, by up to 20%. What does this mean for men and women? Statistics show the happiest people date people who have similar personalities as themselves. Extroverts are happiest with extroverts. And don’t forget to watch a funny movie, and do anything you can to keep depression away. Doctors recommend devoting at least 15-20 minutes daily to enjoyable or relaxing activities.
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