Why do we care? Maybe because heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. It claims over 350,000 lives annually. Every year over 700,000 people have heart attacks. That is one every 34 seconds. The direct and indirect costs of heart disease totals more than $320 BILLION dollars every year.
Who is at risk? 80% of people who die from heart disease are over 65, but heart disease can occur at any age. If you have a family history of heart disease, you are at greater risk. High cholesterol and high blood pressure increase the risk of coronary disease. So does physical inactivity. In addition, smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack as non-smokers. Passive smoke also increased your risk of heart problems. People who are overweight are more likely to develop heart disease. Alcohol in access (more than one drink a day) is also a risk. Finally, more than 80% of diabetics suffer some form of heart or blood vessel disease.
What can we do? We can work to reduce our risk of heart disease. Here are recommendations to get heart healthy.
- Exercise. Aerobic activity 30 minutes a day, five days a week is recommended.
- Watch your diet. Avoid salt, as well as saturated fats and Trans fats. Increase foods high in unsaturated fats.
- Maintain a healthy body weight.
- Take fish oil supplements.
- Avoid smoking, chewing tobacco and recreational drug use.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- See a doctor regularly.
Why is this dentist telling me about heart health? First of all, we are health care professionals. We care about your overall health. We screen for high blood pressure and we look for oral signs of diabetes. We firmly believe that good oral health leads to good overall health. There seems to be a correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease, so our aggressive periodontal disease protocol will hopefully benefit more than your gum tissue. We work hard to give you the best oral health possible so that you may have the best chance of optimal overall health. Now, do your part!
Thanks for reading,