The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S., ahead of all types of cancer and lung disease. Treating patients with cardiovascular disease is also the most costly of all diseases, and treatment costs are predicted to continue to rise. Unfortunately, women and minorities are still at the highest risk of death from CVD, and national initiatives and programs continually work to inform the public of the risk factors and how to prevent this deadly disease that affects over half a million people each year.
Fortunately, numerous resources are available to inform and empower individuals to prevent this disease by addressing its contributing factors, namely smoking, poor nutrition, irregular sleep, and lack of exercise, which increase the risks of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Multiple federal programs promote healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation (National Cancer Institute), healthy eating (Health and Human Services), good sleep habits (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute), and regular exercise (Health and Human Services).
State, local, and community organizations are encouraged to share resources and hold events to distribute information and encourage healthy behaviors. HHS provides ready-to-distribute materials for health fairs and public presentations. The National Institutes of Health provides distribution materials about preventing heart disease. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute also provides a comprehensive, online resource for living a heart-healthy lifestyle. Outreach is strongly encouraged to underserved communities, minorities, and women, who are all at a higher risk for the disease.
Numerous studies have shown that the most effective way to prevent CVD is through regular exercise and good nutrition, specifically a diet low in animal products and high in plant-based foods. Fruit, vegetables, beans, and legumes provide a high-fiber diet that prevents clogged arteries, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics both provide information and resources for preventing heart disease. The CDC also provides information to increase the general understanding of heart disease symptoms and the preventive measures everyone can take to avoid this disease.
Remarkably, death rates from CVD continue to decline thanks to improved treatment techniques and increased public knowledge of how to prevent this disease and its related contributing factors. BLH Technologies, Inc. is pleased to support HHS in its work to improve public health and decrease the number of deaths related to cardiovascular disease.