Heart disease is the number one cause of death and it is responsible for 17.9 million deaths each year, according to estimates by MedicalNewsToday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease in the US. Heart disease is responsible for one in four deaths in the US.
In this article, we will be busting a few common myths and misconceptions about heart disease and cardiovascular health.
Myth #1: Younger People Aren't Affected by Cardiovascular Diseases
People believe that only older people are affected by heart diseases or suffer from heart attacks. But the truth is that there is no particular age at which someone has poor cardiovascular health.
According to US NIH, about 4 to 10 percent of heart attacks occur in people under the age of 45 years. It is because our lifestyle acts as the basis for the health of the heart in children, adolescents, and adults.
Diet that is high in trans and saturated fats or smoking tobacco increases the risk of heart disease as we age.
Research proves that over 50 percent of counties experienced an increase in heart disease mortality from 2010 through 2015 among adults between the age of 35-64 years.
Myth #2: People With Heart Diseases Should Not Exercise
This is a myth and exercise is important for everyone to maintain overall good health, though the intensity of exercise may differ. Exercise helps strengthen the heart muscle and improve blood flow around the body.
A study published by the European Society of Cardiology laid down the guidelines on exercise in patients with cardiovascular disease. There are very low chances of cardiac arrest or heart attack due to exercise. Moreover, people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk of suffering from poor cardiovascular health.
Myth #3: Heart Diseases Are Genetic
Some people still believe that if a close family member has suffered from heart disease, there are high chances that they might be affected by cardiovascular diseases as well. That's not always true and there are a number of ways to reduce the risk.
Eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, optimal blood pressure levels, and regular exercise can help prevent the chances of heart disease.
Myth #4: Only Men Are Affected by Heart Disease
This is a myth and heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. According to PubMed, 24.2 percent of men and 21.8 percent of women died from heart disease in the US in 2017.
But when it comes to strokes, about 28.7 percent of men and 28 percent of women died from heart disease or stroke, considering that similar factors cause a stroke.
It is true that men tend to develop cardiovascular disease at an earlier age than women and have higher chances of suffering from coronary heart disease. Women have a higher risk of stroke.
Myth #5: Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest Are the Same
Heart attacks and cardiac arrests are not the same. According to MedicalNewsToday, a heart attack is a circulation problem and it occurs due to blockage of the coronary artery, which carries oxygenated blood to the muscles of the heart.
Meanwhile, a cardiac arrest is an “electrical problem,” where the heart stops pumping blood around the body. Heart attacks are the cause of cardiac arrest.