Preventing Death and Disability from Cardiovascular Disease

Article excerpt

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one and most costly killer in the United States and a major cause of disability. It cost the United States a projected $503 billion in medical expenses (direct costs) and lost productivity (indirect costs) in 2010.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, the past 50 years have seen significant progress in the battle against heart disease, stroke, and other forms of CVD.

According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.6 million lives have been saved since 1977 that otherwise would have been lost to heart disease and stroke. An estimated 44% of the decrease in heart disease deaths from 1 980 to 2000 was a result of prevention through the reduction of risk factors.

According to the American Heart Association, avoiding key risk factors and receiving early diagnosis and correct treatment are essential to combating heart disease and stroke. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol may add 10 years of life. …