# 1 - WHY FOLLOW "SCD"? > STATISTICS RELATED TO HEART DISEASE


Each year, heart disease is at the top of the list of the country's most serious health problems. In fact, statistics show that cardiovascular disease is America's leading health problem, and the leading cause of death. Consider these statistics released by the American Heart Association (AHA):

  • At least 60,800,000 people in this country suffer from some form of heart disease.
  • One person in five suffers from some form of cardiovascular disease, including:
    • high blood pressure - 50,000,000
    • coronary heart disease - 12,400,000
      • angina pectoris - 6,400,000
      • myocardial infarction (heart attack) - 7,300,000
    • stroke - 4,500,000
    • congenital cardiovascular defects - 1,000,000
    • congestive heart failure - 4,700,000
  • Rheumatic heart disease / rheumatic fever kills more than 4,000 Americans each year.
  • Almost one out of every 2.5 deaths result from cardiovascular disease.
  • Since 1900, cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death in every year but one - 1918.
  • About every 29 seconds an American will suffer a coronary event, and about every minute someone will die from one.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the cause of more deaths than the next six causes of death combined.
  • It is a myth that heart disease is a man's disease. In fact, cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer of women (and men). These diseases currently claim the lives of more than a half a million females every year - more than the next 16 causes of death combined.
  • Approximately one-third (34 percent) of cardiovascular disease deaths occur prematurely (before age 75).
  • The cost of cardiovascular disease in 2001 is estimated at $298.2 billion - an increase of about $12 billion from 1998.
  • Stroke killed 158,448 people in 1998 - on average, someone in the US suffers a stroke every 53 seconds; someone dies every 3.3 minutes from stroke.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability that accounts for more than half of all patients hospitalized for a neurological disease. Stroke deaths have been increasing in recent years.  

Possible Warning Signs of Arterial Blockage

Do You Have Any of These Signs?

Fingers or toes that often feel cold?
Your arms or legs often "go to sleep"?
Do you experience numbness or heaviness in arms or legs?
Does your hand often cramp when writing a letter?
Is there a sharp, diagonal crease in your earlobe?
Do your lips or fingers often have a tingling sensation?
On short walks, do your legs get aches or pains?
Is your memory worse than it used to be?
Ankles that swell late in the day?
Do you get breathless on slight exertion or when lying down?
Is there a whitish ring under the outer part of the cornea in your eye?

Listen To Your Body...

If you answered yes to these questions, you may have early warning signs of arterial blockages. Your body is saying that it's time to make a change and put time on your side.

Although other circumstances can cause the above symptoms, it is always best to be proactive. We encourage you to speak with your Doctor about these signs and your current health condition.

Did you know that it is not uncommon for people as young as 18 years of age to have blockages in their arteries? That's because age alone is not the main cause of blocked arteries.

Many factors beyond age cause your arteries to fill up with plaque. Here are a few of the reasons that put you at risk:

Genetic or family history
Air pollution
Eating processed foods
Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils
Diabetes
Lack of exercise
Excessive caffeine consumption
Cigarette smoking
Stress and anxiety
Lack of proper rest
Poor diet - too much "junk food"
And more