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Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease & Stroke

Posted Oct 03 2013 10:08pm

Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke, and at least 200,000 of these deaths may be preventable. While the number of preventable deaths by heart disease and stroke, more than half of these happen to people under age 65. The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA) recommends that Americans engage in a conversation with their physicians to learn the basics of heart health; stop smoking (or do not start); enjoy a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.; consume more fruits and vegetables and less sodium and eliminate trans fats; and know the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and call 911 for help if experiencing them.

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. “CDC Vital Signs: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease & Stroke.” September 2013.

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At least 200,000 of US deaths due to heart disease and stroke may be preventable, through lifestyle and nutritional choices.
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Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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