heart health

Study Shows Most Americans Are Misinformed About Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in this country, taking approximately 600,000 lives each year and one in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by heart disease. Unfortunately, most Americans are still misinformed about heart disease, which could be part of the reason that it remains such a deadly killer.

A recent survey conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic revealed that nearly 75% of participants said that they are not afraid that they will die from heart disease. The survey also found that:

  • 61 percent of Americans incorrectly believe vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease.
  • Only 30 percent know that unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances, and jaw pain can all be signs of heart disease.
  • 44 percent incorrectly believe cholesterol, a heart disease contributor, can be lowered by vitamins.

Moreover, the survey also found that those individuals who are most at risk for heart disease are often not taking steps to improve their cardiovascular health and that many people do not understand the following heart health facts:

  • That fish oil is linked to many health benefits, but experts advise that the daily recommended dose is an insufficient prevention practice.
  • That studies show vitamins have almost no effect on heart health.
  • That sodium can come from many places in their daily diet.
  • That there is no heart disease gene, but family history is an important known risk factor to take into account.

“Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in this country, so it’s disappointing to see that so many Americans are unaware of the severity of not taking action to prevent heart disease,” said Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at Cleveland Clinic, in a statement. “This is a disease that can largely be prevented and managed, but you have to be educated about how to do so.”

February is American Heart Month, and knowing the warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack is crucial to preventing death.  According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are some of the major warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats

Some Americans are more at risk for heart disease and/or heart attack than others. The following medical conditions and lifestyle choice can increase a person’s risk of heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

You can improve your heart health and decrease your risk of heart disease by:

  • Following your doctor’s instructions
  • Taking necessary medications
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Not smoking

The Chicago medical malpractice law firm of Cogan & Power, P.C. is dedicated to promoting patient health and helping the victims of medical malpractice and their families obtain the financial recovery that they deserve. If you believe that your heart disease, heart attack, or other medical condition was not properly diagnosed or treated, you may be entitled to compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Contact our office at (312) 477-2500 to learn more about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit. If you cannot come to our offices in downtown Chicago, we will come to you. And because we take cases on a contingency basis, you will not pay any fee unless we get you compensation.