Many people have misconceptions about the risk factors for heart disease or heart disease itself. The real fact is, relying on these heart disease myths can cost you your life.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of color in the United States. Someone dies from heart disease every 36 seconds in the United States, and about 655,000 Americans will die from heart disease this year alone.
Your health is too important and you need to separate fact from fiction. So, here are five more common myths about heart disease, and the facts that will put you on the path to a healthy heart.
This is not entirely true. If you do have a family history of heart disease, you are at higher risk, but there are steps you can take to decrease your risk. You can do things like:
By putting together an action plan, you can significantly reduce your risk.
The American Heart Association recommends you start getting your cholesterol checked every five years starting at age 20.
Common symptoms such as chest pain and arm pain occur in 60% to 90% of all heart attacks. However, about 25% of heart attacks happen with uncommon signs, or no sign at all. Such heart attacks are often referred to as “silent heart attacks,” and they usually happen to people who are suffering from diabetes.
Only about 50% of women who are having a heart attack will experience chest pain; others show uncommon symptoms such as fatigue, headache, nausea and stomach upset.
While it is true that the risk of heart disease increases with age, the roots of the disease may have already been planted when you were a child or teenager. The plaque in your arteries can take years to build up, and it will start causing problems when you reach adulthood.
The eating habits and lifestyles of present-day young adults also make them more susceptible to heart disease. Two decades ago, heart disease mostly occurred in people who were 50 to 70 years old, but now, it is affecting a growing number of people in their 30s and 40s.
Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle can certainly improve your heart health, but it does not eliminate all the risk factors of heart disease.
There are many other factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease, and they include family history, stress, depression, hypertension, diabetes, and others. Old age, post-menopause, and ethnicity can also make a person more vulnerable to heart disease.
Now that you know the facts about heart disease, it’s time to take some steps to protect yourself. One of the first things you can do is to visit your doctor to have your heart checked.
Our guide “Cardiology Tests That Help Healthy Hearts Stay Healthy” is a great resource when it comes to understanding the screenings you can have done on your heart. One of them can even tell you if you’re at risk for a heart attack in the next 10 years.