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Study: Almost Half of Americans Have Heart Disease

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A new study has found that almost half of U.S. adults have heart disease. Published in the medical journal Circulation, the study revealed that 48% of men and women in the United States suffer from heart disease. Heart disease has been the leading cause of death -- not only in the United States but throughout the world as well -- for over a decade. This new study, however, suggests that there's no signs of this trend reversing anytime soon.

About the Study

There is some good news at least. According to the study, the rate of cardiovascular disease among U.S. adults has declined by roughly 2.5% over the past few years. In 2015, about 11.5% of U.S. adults had heart disease, compared to 9% now. Cardiovascular disease, of course, is a more serious condition than heart disease, so the fact that rates of cardiovascular disease have declined in the past few years is a positive sign

"Overall, we have made a lot of progress," said a researcher. "We have not yet made substantial advancement in obesity, diabetes, and unhealthy behavior," the researcher added.

How to Promote a Healthy Heart

The fact that nearly half of all U.S. adults have heart disease is troubling, but the good news is that there are ways to promote a healthy heart and protect yourself from this otherwise common and serious medical condition. Achieving a healthy heart requires a complete lifestyle adjustment, beginning with lots of physical activity. Statistics show that the average adult is sedentary for about 10 hours a day. Unfortunately, sitting or lying for such long periods of time can take a toll on your heart, reducing blood flow, promoting body fat and disrupting your metabolism. For a healthy heart, try to spend less time sitting and more time moving around.

You should also follow the American Heart Association's (AHA's) exercise guidelines to reduce your risk of heart disease. To protect against heart disease, the AHA recommends exercising for 75 or 150 minutes per week.

Of course, eating the right foods can help strengthen your heart as well. Here are some general dieting tips to follow to protect against heart disease:

  • Avoid all foods and beverages containing trans fat.
  • Limit consumption of saturated fat.
  • Cut out soda and other sugary beverages.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include more fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, in your diet.
  • Cook using olive oil instead of vegetable oil or butter.
  • Eat more nuts.
  • Limit consumption of processed meats.

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