America’s number one killer is on the rise. New statistics show 18 million Americans died from some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2015. The American Heart Association predicts this number will increase 25% by the year 2030. That’s over 26 million deaths per year. Fortunately, advancements in screening prove that it’s possible to prevent CVD before it’s too late.

CVD includes heart and blood related conditions. Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths making it the top killer among Americans. However, strokes are just as serious. Every 40 seconds, someone in the US has a stroke and almost one-quarter of the attacks are recurrent.

Genetics, lifestyle and environment can play a key role in determining your cardiovascular health. However, even those who live healthy lives can still be at risk for CVD. About half of American adults have at least one of three major risk factors and a majority do not realize until a heart attack or stroke strikes. These factors include uncontrolled high blood pressure, uncontrolled high LDL cholesterol, and current smoking. Controlling these factors can decrease the chance for heart attack or stroke by 80%. Luckily, all of the risks can be easily screened for to help patients prevent CVD.

Age is another factor in a person’s life when it comes to CVD. By the time an adult reaches 45, their risk for deadly heart and blood conditions has more than doubled. From there it nearly doubles again once a person hits 80. This is one of the reasons that the AHA claims early prevention to be so important.

Those who are aware of their own risk factors at an early age and work to control them through a healthy lifestyle can reduce their chances of suffering from CVD later in life.

Despite the cost on sufferer’s lives, CVD can become expensive when left untreated. In 2013 heart attacks and Coronary Heart Disease accounted for over $21 billion worth of hospital treatments making them the most expensive conditions in the U.S., and they aren’t getting any cheaper. The AHA projects these medical costs to double by 2030.

“Rather than treating illness when it is far advanced,” Says the American Heart Association in its Projections through 2035, “ [We] advocate for heart-healthy habits and wellness throughout a person’s life – and the earlier the better. Those who follow a lifestyle of regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet and regular screenings… can dramatically reduce their risk of developing CVD.”

At Emsite LLC, we believe preventing CVD is arguably an easier, more painless, and less costly way of living. Strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure can wreak havoc on any person at any time in their life. Women especially are at risk as rates of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease begin to catch up to men. By screening for risk factors, an individual can address their lifestyle and prevent unknown symptoms from rising and causing irreparable harm.

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