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Group publishes guide on preventing heart disease
07.06.2012Prevention is more effective than treatment when it comes to avoiding atherosclerosis and heart attacks, according to a new report published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The recommendations suggest that many people may benefit from participating in healthcare and wellness programs.
The report was authored by the European Society of Cardiology. It states that lifestyle factors are among the leading causes of heart disease. They are also completely modifiable. They include smoking, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diet and excessive stress.
All four of these lifestyle issues can be addressed and changed, but advanced cases of atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries associated with cardiovascular disease that puts individuals at an increased risk of heart attacks, can be difficult to reverse. This puts a high premium on prevention rather than treatment.
Still, a significant amount of work needs to be done to understand the best ways to help people make these positive lifestyle changes. The authors of the report recognized that it is not always easy to make a major life change. However, research has begun to understand factors that may play a role in a person's willingness to quit smoking, eat a healthier diet or make other positive changes.
Finding answers to these questions is crucial, the team said, as heart disease is the leading cause of premature death worldwide. As much as 42 percent of women who die before the age of 75 succumb to atherosclerosis, while 38 percent of deaths in men are attributed to heart disease.
The team said they hope their report will be used as a guide by patients, physicians and policymakers to help all stakeholders make more informed decisions about heart disease prevention.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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