Men and Heart Disease
Heart Disease in Men
When you think of heart disease in men, usually people think of the most common type of heart disease, coronary artery disease (narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself), but coronary artery disease is just one type of heart disease.
Heart disease includes a number of conditions affecting the heart and the blood vessels in the heart. They can include:
- Coronary artery disease (including heart attack)
- Abnormal heart rhythms or arrhythmias
- Heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
- Pericardial disease
- Aorta disease and Marfan syndrome
- Vascular disease (blood vessel disease)
Did You Know?
- According to the CDC, one in four men has some form of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death.
- In 2008, cardiovascular disease caused the deaths of 392,210 males.
- In 2009, cardiovascular disease was the first listed diagnosis of 3,230,000 males discharged from short-stay hospitals. Discharges included people alive, dead and status unknown.
- Average annual rates of the first heart disease complication rises from seven per 1,000 men at ages 35-44 to 68 per 1,000 at ages 85-94. For women, similar rates occur but they happen about 10 years later in life.
- The average age of a person having a first heart attack is 65.8 for men and 70.4 for women. “For men, heart disease begins to manifest itself about 10 years earlier than women,” says Gregory Burke, MD, professor and chairman of the department of public health sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. This does not mean men have a free pass against heart disease until they’re older. Men have a shorter time to prevent the development of the condition so their overall risk is greater.
- The estimated prevalence of heart failure in men is 3,100,000.
- 260,000 males diagnosed with high blood pressure were discharged from short-stay hospitals in 2009.
- In 2009, 72.3% of bypass patients were men.
- In 2010, in the United States, 73% of heart transplant patients were male.
Are You at Risk?
In the United States, heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. Often, though, people don’t know they are at risk for heart problems.
A man’s risk of heart disease begins to rise greatly starting at age 45 and there are several medical conditions and lifestyle choices that can put men at a higher risk for heart disease. Nine out of 10 heart disease patients have at least one of the following risk factors:
- Increasing age
- Male sex
- Family history and race.Folks with family history of the disease have greater risk. So do African-Americans, Mexican Americans,
- Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans.
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Obesity and overweight
- Poor diet
- Alcohol use
Some things, such as your age and sex, obviously cannot be controlled, but modifying lifestyle to eat right and exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Join the Low Risk Club
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. It is important to learn about your heart to help prevent heart disease. And, if you have heart disease, you can live a healthier, more active life by learning about your disease and treatments and by becoming an active participant in your care.
You can lower your risk of heart disease by taking certain steps, including:
- Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products. If you smoke, get help quitting.
- Get your blood pressure checked at least every two years. If you have high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice on how to lower it and keep it under control.
- Get your cholesterol checked, beginning at age 25 and every five years. Ask your doctor if you need to have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels tested. Control your blood pressure and cholesterol, if they’re high.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Learn about your body mass index, or BMI.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods that are high in fiber. Limit foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, and sodium.
- Limit alcohol use. Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which causes high blood pressure.
- Manage stress. If you feel constantly on edge or under assault, your lifestyle habits may suffer. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
- Make physical activity a habit. Learn more about the amounts and types of activity that can help. Increase your physical activity level to 30 minutes per day, most days of the week.
- Control diabetes, if you have it. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for medications and lifestyle changes.
- Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that men ages 45 to 79 take aspirin to lower their risk of heart attack when the benefit outweighs the possible harm of gastrointestinal bleeding. Discuss your personal risk of both heart disease and gastrointestinal bleeding with your doctor.
Know Your Numbers
If you haven’t had an annual physical this year, it’s time to schedule one. If you have, your physician’s office should have your numbers for you.
|NUMBERS YOU SHOULD KNOW:||YOUR RESULTS NEED TO BE:|
|TOTAL CHOLESTEROL||Less than 190|
|HDL (Good Cholesterol)
High Density Lipoprotein
|Greater than 45 for men
Greater than 55 for women
|LDL (Bad Cholesterol)
Low Density Lipoprotein
|Less than 70 (Heart disease, diabetes, kidney or carotid disease, aneurysm)
Less than 100 for primary prevention (No heart disease with two or more risk factors)
|TRIGLYCERIDES||Less than 150|
|Ratio (Total Cholesterol / HDL)||Less than 4.0|
If consistently greater than 130/80 (either number), we recommend contacting your healthcare provider.
|GLUCOSE (Fasting Blood Sugar)
Are you doomed to heart disease?
Given the fact that it’s the most common killer of men, you’d be forgiven for thinking as much, but if you take steps toward prevention, you can keep your risk for heart disease low.
For more information, visit our website: www.phillipspharmacy.com, or check out WebMD’s page on Men and Heart Disease and Men’s Health Magazine’s article on Keeping Your Heart Healthy!
Also, continue to check our blog for more info on other health concerns for men throughout the month of June!