Americans and Heart Health

According to the American Heart Association, statistics prove that nearly 50% of Americans are now classified as experiencing some type of heart disease. While this information denotes a sharp rise over previous years, much of the increase is due to a change in guidelines defining high blood pressure as 130/80 rather than 140/90. The additional 10 systolic and diastolic points added millions of Americans to the already steep number of people suffering from heart disease. Medicomp’s line of remote cardiac monitors has long been at the forefront of tracking rate, rhythm, morphology, and P-wave analysis to evaluate patient short- and long-term cardiovascular health.

Although the number of Americans with heart disease seems inflated due to the change in blood pressure numbers, it is still a dangerous statistic. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States with 840,000 patients succumbing to heart-related problems in 2015. Even more disheartening, the number of deaths, which has fallen every year for decades (mostly due to diminished smoking rates), rose by 4,000 between 2015 to 2016.

Cardiovascular disease has many factors that cannot be controlled, such as a genetic predisposition to heart disease, race, gender, and age. Other risk factors are increasing at a rate similar to heart disease, including diabetes mellitus, sedentary lifestyles, poor eating habits, and obesity. When comparing controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for cardiac disease, 80% of all cardiovascular disease could be prevented if patients stopped smoking, lowered their blood pressure, controlled their diabetes and cholesterol, exercised regularly, and ate a balanced diet. In fact, reducing body weight by 5% can lower blood pressure by 8 points.

Recent research determined the percentage of adults with ideal heart health has dropped within the past 20 years. The study included 3,460 patients by detailing their medical visits and measurements from 1991 to 2008. Using 7 biological and lifestyle markers — blood pressure, body mass index, diet, physical activity, tobacco use, total cholesterol, and blood sugar — researchers showed a drop from 8.5% to 5.9% of participants scoring “ideal” for their cardiovascular health score. Factors lowering the score were poorer results in blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, and blood sugar.

Among other factors, the study proved that patients with higher scores on the heart health scale recovered more quickly from heart attacks while those with consistently low scores throughout the study were twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Patients who strived for improved cardiovascular health were still 70% more likely to suffer from heart problems, leading researchers to believe heart health must begin early in life for best results.

Learn more about the latest research in cardiovascular health by reading our blogs or contacting Medicomp online or at 800-23-HEART. You can rely on Medicomp’s line of state-of-the-art remote cardiac monitors for your patients to monitor their heart health.

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