Modern science has created effective cures for most major illnesses, so the leading cause of death in the United States is now heart disease. Though it is possible to provide treatment for patients with heart disease, there is no way to completely cure it. Sadly, heart disease rates are on the rise throughout much of the nation. Doctors warn that cardiovascular failure rates could continue to rise if nothing is done about this health crisis.
American Heart Association Predicts Soaring Heart Failure Rates
The American Heart Association has just released their 2017 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Update. This report provides valuable information on the current state of healthcare in America. Unfortunately, data reveals that the number of people with heart failure has increased to 6.5 million in the past three years.
Heart failure occurs whenever the heart is not strong enough to pump blood throughout the entire body. People normally end up with heart failure after surviving a heart attack, and the weakened heart muscles greatly increase risks of more serious heart attacks. The rise in heart failure may be attributed to an increased amount of patients surviving their first heart attack.
The other primary cause of increasing heart failure risks is the continued obesity crisis in America. When people are overweight, their heart struggles to pump blood, and it becomes weakened over time. Obesity further contributes to heart problems by causing cholesterol buildup in veins that can result in high blood pressure or blockages.
Data from the study further confirmed the theory that cardiovascular disease is primarily a problem in rural or minority communities. People from a lower socioeconomic background tend to have a higher risk of developing heart failure due to a poorer diet, more sedentary lifestyle, and less education about health. This is very concerning because the groups who are most at-risk for heart failure may have the most trouble paying for healthcare.
Heart Failure May Cause Healthcare Emergency
If the heart failure rate continues to rise, up to 8 million people may be living with heart failure by 2030. This could lead to a health care crisis because many of these people would be unable to work and would struggle to pay all of their associated healthcare costs. Heart failure is one of the types of cardiovascular disease that is particularly concerning because it normally leads to further health issues.
There is some concern that the current government may remove the restrictions that kept insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. If this actually occurs, than the millions of Americans with heart failure may find it difficult to get health insurance. The nation may end up struggling to find a Medicare budget large enough to address of all of these healthcare needs.
To combat growing heart failure rates, the AHA has released a list of preventative measures that they are encouraging all Americans to follow. The Life’s Simple 7 checklist encourages people to stop smoking, remain physically active, eat less sugar, maintain a healthy weight, reduce blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.
Greater Focus on Heart Health Is Needed
This data makes it evident that Americans need to take more steps to protect their health. Medical advances make it easier to survive heart attacks, but they should still be avoided when possible because they weaken the heart. Preventing heart disease is often as simple as exercising more often and eating a better diet. It is imperative for more Americans to start focusing on these preventative measures if they want to live long, active lives.