Minorities and Heart Disease

Heart Disease is a Killer Regardless of Ethnic Origin

Heart disease is a killer regardless of racial or ethnic origin. The underlying causes tend to be the same for everyone: damage to the cardiovascular system, with one key underlying cause being Insulin Resistance-connected obesity. This condition can, in turn, lead to Metabolic Syndrome (Syndrome X), Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Pre- and Type 2 Diabetes, all major risk factors in heart-related disorders. (See also sections on Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Diabetes and their connection with Heart Disease.)

Minorities and Heart DiseaseIn 1999, 78,574 African-Americans died from heart disease, the leading cause of death for all racial and ethnic groups. African-Americans were 30 percent more likely to die of heart disease than whites when differences in age distributions were taken into account.African-American women are more likely to die from heart disease than other groups of women. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, and smoking all put black women at high risk for heart disease. In addition, studies have shown that African-Americans don’t receive the same care for heart disease as whites because they don’t receive the same procedures and treatments.Heart disease risk and death rates are high among Mexican-Americans partly because of increased rates of obesity and Diabetes.Overall, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian women have much lower rates of heart disease than women of other minorities. But it is still the leading cause of death within their own grouping. Heart disease risk and death rates are higher among Native Hawaiians and some Asian-Americans (especially Asian-Indians) partly because of higher rates of obesity, Diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The risk of heart disease can be reduced in the same ways as decreasing the chances of developing Insulin Resistance and its attendant conditions, Metabolic Syndrome, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Pre-Diabetes. Doctors recommend balancing glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream, losing weight, regulating cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lowering blood pressure.

The best way to achieve this reduction in risk is to stick to a balanced, nutritional diet, including low-cholesterol food, combined with regular exercise and weight loss in overweight individuals.

Click here to read about how the Insulite PCOS System can help
to reverse the symptoms of Insulin Resistance
.

How Parents Can Promote Their Childrens Heart Health

Parents and ChildrenBeing a good role model is the best way to steer your children onto the right path. Physically active parents who encourage nutritionally balanced meals at the dinner table can instill lifelong good habits in their children.

Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 15 years in the United States Youngsters are being increasingly diverted from exercise by an ever-growing choice of computer games, videos and DVDs, plus hundreds of TV channels. Inactivity and obesity-related illnesses now threaten to shorten the lifespan of today’s kids: four million have above-normal blood pressure, 27 million have high cholesterol, and more than a third get no exercise.

Child Eating GrapesMinor shifts in behavior, however can reverse this trend. Try rewarding kids for not watching so much television and being more physically active instead. Organize regular family activities with the emphasis on fun. Cut back drastically on their sugar-laden sodas and junk food and set a good example by not consuming them yourself. You’ll feel the benefits, too.

Combating Heart Disease

combating heart diseaseNearly all of us are born with immaculate arteries. But as soon as we learn how to feed ourselves, our arteries begin to go from clean to clogged. Taking better care of our cardiovascular system by watching our weight via a balanced diet and regular exercise goes a long way towards countering this effect. Adopting a healthier lifestyle will add years to your life as well as improving its quality.If you pass this information on to your children, they, too, can take steps to avoid premature heart disease.It isn’t just adult men who are especially prone to heart disease. Even pre-menopausal women, who were long considered resistant to “heart trouble”, should learn to reduce the risk factors that may cause damage to their cardiovascular systems later in life.When it comes to heart disease, there are factors that you can’t influence, like genetic vulnerability – we can’t choose our ancestors or alter our genes – and the aging process. But there are plenty more areas where the effectiveness of taking preventable action is documented by facts and figures.
Stop SmokingStopping smoking is a prime example. More than 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette smokers are four times more likely to have heart attacks and develop cardiovascular diseases than non-smokers. Men have a slightly higher risk than women. On average, lifetime smokers have a 50% chance of dying from a smoking-related disease. But quitting can quickly begin to nullify the risks – it’s never too late to stop. One year after quitting, your risk of heart disease drops by 50%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Within 15 years, a former smoker’s risk of dying from heart disease approaches that of a lifetime non-smoker.

Lowering your LDL “bad”; cholesterol has enormous benefits. Doctors and nutritionists have a wealth of information about low cholesterol diets. Almost everyone who has a heart attack or undergoes bypass surgery is now given a statin, a type of cholesterol-lowering agent, regardless of his or her cholesterol level. The statin drugs that reduce cholesterol also reduce the level of C-Reactive Protein, a marker for inflammation of the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Switching to low cholesterol food is highly advisable.

Controlling Your Blood Pressure and getting it to normal levels greatly reduces the risk of both stroke and heart attack by slowing down the formation of arterial plaque that narrows the blood vessels everywhere in the body – especially in the heart, brain, kidneys, eyes and legs.

Managing Your Blood Sugar is vital to avoiding Pre-Diabetes, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes. (See Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Heart Disease.) Although Type 2 Diabetes can be managed over a long life, almost 80% of Diabetics eventually die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease.

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