News / Health

Doctors Say Most Heart Disease Preventable

Doctors Say Most Heart Disease is Preventablei
X
March 06, 2013 11:29 PM
Coronary heart disease is the number one killer, worldwide, of men and women over the age of 60. But people of all ages succumb to heart attacks each year. And while death rates have declined in the U.S. and many western European countries, mortality is on the rise in the developing world. Yet most heart disease is preventable. VOA's Carol Pearson says that's a message doctors and advocacy groups are communicating so people the world over can live longer and healthier lives.
Carol Pearson
Coronary heart disease is the number one killer, worldwide, of men and women over the age of 60.  But people of all ages succumb to heart attacks each year. And while death rates have declined in the U.S. and many western European countries, mortality is on the rise in the developing world.  Yet most heart disease is preventable. 
 
No one would have guessed that Barbara Teng would have a heart attack.  She was not overweight.  She did not smoke.  But she also did not exercise.
 
“In 2004, the week after I turned 49, when I was on a business trip in Chicago, I had a major heart attack," she said. 
 
And that changed her life. She now exercises daily, monitors her heart health, and speaks at events held by Sister to Sister, a heart health program for women. Susan Gurley, the organization's director, says the message is urgent.
 
"Heart disease is 82 percent preventable and it is the leading cause of death for women," she said.
 
It's also a leading cause of death for men. The World Health Organization reports that more people die each year from heart disease than from any other cause. WHO says more than 60 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease take place in low and middle-income countries. It says the heart disease pandemic is on the rise. 
 
Dr. Patrice Desvigne-Nickens is with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. She says the key to staying healthy is knowing your numbers. 
 
"Your weight, your blood cholesterol, blood sugar and your blood pressure are important numbers that can help you take action and reduce your risk," she said. 
 
She says a healthy lifestyle can prevent heart disease. 
 
"And the steps to take are simple: don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, know your numbers and talk to your physician and control these risks," she said. 
 
African-Americans are at higher-than-average risk for heart disease and stroke, according to Dr. Michelle Magee. 
 
"There's a very high prevalence of uncontrolled hypertension and also unrecognized hypertension so people don't even know they have it, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke," she said. 
 
In the nation's capital,  Medstar Washington Hospital Center is trying to reach this population - like at this opening of an outreach program at a Washington barber shop.  Neighborhood barbers develop relationships with their clients. With the right training, they can play an important role in community health....for example helping their clients monitor their blood pressure.   
 
These programs operate on the premise that if people realize they are at risk for heart disease, they'll make lifestyle changes: lose weight, exercise, eat the right foods and keep in touch with a doctor.  

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid