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What Experts Wish You Knew About Heart Health – Part 1

August 8, 2013

Based on last year’s “Scientific Sessions,” an annual conference of the American Heart Association where medical experts convene to discuss heart health, CNN.com published a list of "Four things experts want you to know about your heart.”

Multivitamins are not a cure-all

Heart Health ExpertsThe Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of a study that found that there wasn't a difference in heart events (including heart attack and stroke) among doctors that took multivitamins and doctors that didn't. Many people think that multivitamins will prevent them from experiencing a host of ills including heart disease but this large study found that this is not the case. In fact, the only supplement that the American Heart Association recommends is fish oil—and that's not even for everyone but for those who have high blood levels of triglycerides.

Heart disease affects people of all ages

While as a society we may think that heart disease is something that primarily affects people that are older, this is simply not the case. And this problem or perception is not just present among patients; doctors may not properly be diagnosing young people with heart disease. A study found that "young adults [with high blood pressure] were 28% less likely to get a diagnosis and treatment for high blood pressure, compared to adults aged 60 and older.” This can have serious consequences because a young person who is unaware of his or her high blood pressure can go years without knowing that his or her blood vessels, kidneys, and heart could become damaged.

Young people should not ignore signs of high blood pressure and they should ask their doctors about their blood pressure reading to see if it is normal. If it is not, don't let a doctor tell you that this doesn't matter because you are young. Seek help to treat high blood pressure.