(ModernSurvival.org) – A large part of survival is recognizing threats before they occur. Knowing what danger may lie ahead allows a person to take preventative steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim. While some dangers are less avoidable than others, there is almost always a way to improve one’s chances of dodging a proverbial bullet.
Obviously, death is the most dire outcome humans face. By examining the most common causes of death, a person can determine what they should do to increase their odds of survival.
Let’s look at the top cause of death for men in the U.S., and how to prevent it.
The Leading Killer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, for U.S. men of all ages and races, heart disease is the primary cause of death. More specifically, the most common form of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD).
CAD results in blocked arteries, which ultimately affect blood flow to and from the heart. When the heart doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood, a heart attack may occur. Without proper treatment, the heart will sustain more damage over time. Ultimately, this could result in a fatal heart attack.
Know the Symptoms
In a previous article, we covered the symptoms of heart attacks in men, which can be viewed here. However, heart attacks are not the only condition that fall under heart disease. Here are symptoms of other heart conditions that are considered heart disease:
- Arrhythmia. A common condition that occurs when electrical impulses within the heart are firing incorrectly. Symptoms include fluttering or pain in the chest, dizziness, and fainting.
- Heart failure. This occurs when the heart isn’t able to pump blood as it’s supposed to and is often the byproduct of another issue such as CAD or high blood pressure. The symptoms of heart failure are fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling in the extremities and/or neck veins.
- Atherosclerosis. This common issue occurs due to the hardening of arteries as plaque builds up within them. Generally, there are no symptoms of atherosclerosis until an artery becomes clogged or narrow. When present in the heart (atherosclerosis can occur in any artery in the body), it can produce chest pain or angina (pressure).
What are the Risk Factors?
There are three major risk factors that can lead to heart disease, as follows:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Other factors that can contribute to the risk of heart disease include obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity, excessive consumption of alcohol, and an unhealthy diet.
How to Reduce the Risk
The risks of smoking have been beaten to death in the media, and with good reason. It isn’t good for the body. The chemicals found in cigarettes inflame the cells that line blood vessels and cause them to swell. This, in turn, can lead to a variety of cardiac issues.
The good news is that in as little as a year after quitting smoking, the risk of heart conditions caused by smoking drops dramatically.
Practice Healthy Living
Eating the right kinds of foods and staying active goes a long way toward keeping the heart healthy. It is important to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cutting back on processed foods that are traditionally high in sodium will also help. Sodium, which is vital to the body, is harmful when consumed in large quantities, as it causes high blood pressure.
It’s also crucial to reduce excess weight. That can be done by staying active and consuming healthy foods. Not only will exercise and good food create a healthier body, they also tend to make a person feel more nourished and energized.
Taking care of your heart is incredibly important. There are many ways that a person can develop heart issues, many of which we covered here. To see how to identify the symptoms of another cardiac issue, click here to see our article on how to recognize the signs of a stroke.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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