Heart disease is America’s number one killer. In the United States, about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year. That is equal to 1 out of every 4 deaths. Not only that, but every year, 735,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. Out of these 735,000, roughly 525,000 are suffering from their first heart attack, while 210,000 people have already had at least one. But what is a heart attack, why is it the leading cause of death in the United States and what are the signs?
A heart attack is a life-threatening event. It is the result of suffering from coronary heart disease. A heart attack occurs when your coronary arteries become completely blocked. Your coronary arteries exist to supply blood to your heart muscle. You have two major coronary arteries, these are:
Key heart disease factors are high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking. 49% of Americans have at least one of the above risk factors. That’s virtually half of the American population. Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also impact and increase the risks. The risks of a heart attack or heart disease include:
It is important to know the warning signs of a heart attack so you are able to act fast. In 2005, 92% of people recognized chest pain as a heart attack symptom. From that 92%, only 27% knew to call 911 due to their awareness of heart attack symptoms. Chances of survival are greater with quicker treatment. Symptoms of heart attacks in women include:
If you are feeling one or more of these symptoms, then call 911 immediately.
There is a lot of history that frames this question. If you want to read about the history of heart disease in America, we have an article that outlines it for you. Around sixty years ago, heart disease was known to be the leading cause of death in America.
The direct cause of cardiovascular disease, however, was completely unknown up until 1948.
In 1948, the US public health service carried out a study on heart disease. The result of the study conducted were: pre-war, physical activity decreased due to many people owning cars and with inventions like the dishwasher, the lawnmower and the television people were more inactive. During the war, food was rationed until the war ended. Post war, due to the effects of previously rationed food, many Americans started to overindulge in food. After World War 2, heart disease increased dramatically from people’s overindulgence, lack of exercise (due to TV and easier transport), and excessive smoking.
Since then not much has really changed. In the 21st Century, heart disease is still the leading cause of death. This doesn’t come as a surprise as America also holds the highest obesity rate and is known for fast food restaurants.
One possible treatment for cardiovascular disease, heart disease and preventing heart attacks is medical cannabis. A study from 2008 “The adverse effects of cannabinoids: implications for use of medical marijuana” looks at using cannabis as a medical treatment for conditions like cardiovascular disease.
Due to similar studies, the cannabis plant has gained a lot of media attention over the last few months. Studies are showing promising results for the plant and its applicability and versatility in the medical world. Heart disease can also be prevented and lessened by lifestyle changes, like exercising and eating right. Other methods include pharmaceutical medication or surgery, in some severe cases, such as a coronary artery bypass.
If you wish to try medical cannabis for preventing or treatment heart disease, it is important that you first talk to your doctor. If you are taking medicinal cannabis for any of your ailments, including cardiovascular disease, make sure that you also eating healthy and exercising regularly to keep your heart healthy. Seeing as cannabis is illegal in the majority of countries around the world, it is important to follow laws and regulations regarding cannabis in your country or state to avoid conspiring in any illegal activity.