Study Finds- How Myths About Heart Disease Jeopardize Our Health

heart Disease Myths
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Figures show[1] that 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

Cardiovascular disease accounts for 801,000 deaths in the US. In other words, 1 in 3 deaths in the US occurs due to cardiovascular disease. Of all cardiovascular events, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the US accounting for 1 in 7 deaths.

Although heart disease is common, there are many myths about it. These myths don’t allow us to do everything we can to prevent and manage heart disease. Here are some misconceptions to ditch.

1.If You Have Heart Disease, You Should Rest As Much As Possible.

It is a common belief that a patient with heart disease should rest as much as possible and avoid physical activity. Regular exercise or making effort to improve* levels of physical activity is highly recommended for prevention and management of heart disease.

Regular physical activity helps strengthen the heart muscle, improve* blood flow to the brain and internal organs, and it is beneficial for your overall health. The best thing to do is to ask your doctor about exercises you can do.

2. A Small Heart Attack Is Not A Big Deal

Even though a small heart attack isn’t a big deal in terms of heart’s function and it usually passes unnoticed, it is a big deal for you. Why? Even classified as small heart attack, it is a major warning sign[2] that you have a heart disease.

In addition, it sends a message that you are at a higher risk of developing more severe, potentially a life-threatening heart attack. If you or a family member experiences a small heart attack, the best thing to do is to make necessary lifestyle adjustments to protect heart health.

3. If My Blood Pressure Is High, I’ll Feel It. There’s No Need To Check!

Most of us tend to assume we can feel all changes that occur in our body. That’s not the case! There is a reason[3] why high blood pressure is referred to as a silent killer; it usually doesn’t induce any symptoms.

Even though hypertension is asymptomatic, it is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Using a blood pressure cuff is the only way to keep track and ensure blood pressure is within normal range.

About Heart Disease

4. Only Those With History Of Heart Disease Deal With This Health Issue

Heredity or family history of heart disease is a major risk factor for developing it. In fact, in most cases, a person is more likely to develop some health problem if someone in their family also has it.

However, family history of heart disease isn’t the only risk factor. Diet habits, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, other health conditions like type 2 diabetes, are just some of many factors that can lead to heart disease.

5. You Can Minimize Heart Disease Risk With Vitamins And Supplements

Dietary supplements are popular today and a lot of people use them to prevent or treat* some health conditions. Doctors are usually skeptical about these products.

While antioxidants such as vitamins C, E, and beta carotene can lower heart disease risk, dietary supplementation is probably not the best idea.

Clinical trials of supplement form of these vitamins showed that they either don’t work at all or results were inconclusive to reach any specific result. The good thing is, you can get an adequate level of these nutrients from diet alone.

Conclusion

Heart disease affects millions of people in the US and worldwide. Unfortunately, the presence of numerous myths prevents us from avoiding or managing heart disease. Getting educated about your health, including heart disease, is a step in the right direction.

References

[1]https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/ahamah-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_491265.pdf
[2]https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/10-myths-about-heart-disease
[3]https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/02/10-heart-disease-myths-you-shouldnt-believe/

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Author

Expert Author : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain shams University.