Dr Oz: Heart Disease: America’s Number 1 Killer
Approximately 790,000 people will suffer from a heart attack this year, according to Dr Oz. One in seven of them will die. Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States and that’s exactly why Consumer Reports conducted a giant investigation into patient care to let consumers know everything they should about heart health.
Lisa Gill, Deputy Editor for Consumer Reports, explained that heart disease isn’t unstoppable. Even if you already have high blood pressure, there is some good news! One of the most important things they found was that you can cut your own risk of heart disease by 1/3 or even 1/2 if you follow intense lifestyle changes. That was even true for those with a strong family history of heart disease.
Dr Oz: Heart Disease Gender Divide
Dr Oz then wanted to tackle the great gender divide when it comes to heart disease. He explained that in an x-ray on a male suffering from heart disease, a blockage can clearly be seen, however it’s much harder to see blockages in women because instead of being located in one spot, it tends to be more spread out. Dr Oz believes that’s one of the reasons women tend to have more problems with heart disease once they’re diagnosed.
Consumer Reports also reported that the misdiagnosing of heart disease is part of what makes heart attacks more lethal. That’s precisely why an angiogram, which was designed for men, may not be enough for women. They may require an intra-vascular ultrasound.
How can you reduce your risk? Continue reading to find out.
Dr Oz: Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
To take your health in your own hands, there are specific things you can do to reduce your risk of a life-threatening heart attack. First, in a non-emergency situation, ask smart questions. You want to avoid over-treatment and you can do so by asking your doctor whether you really need the treatment they’re suggesting. Some tests could lead to additional complications that you could have avoided.
Dr Oz: Drugs VS Stents + Blood Pressure & Medication
Second, ask your doctor whether drugs or stents are better. You want to try to understand, if there are blockages found, how the doctor wants to proceed. There’s a growing movement of physicians who believe those with a blockage may not need a stent and could benefit from the use of medication instead. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you think you need one.
Consumer Reports was surprised to find that when taking a statin, your blood pressure and diabetes should be considered as well, not just your cholesterol. It’s an individualized decision but a low-dose statin can help lower your risk of heart disease so it’s worth a conversation with your doctor.
Regarding blood pressure, it was found that medication can be extremely effective. For those over the age of 60, a number over 150 is “the new trigger” which means for anyone with a number below that, lifestyle changes are recommended. However, for those who are 60 or older with a number of 150 or above, a second medication could be a good idea. That second medication is actually a simple diuretic or an ACE inhibitor.