The heart is a powerful muscle. It is responsible for pumping blood to the entire body. If the blood supply to the heart is disrupted or the heart is unable to pump enough blood and oxygen to meet the needs of other body organs, serious problems will occur.

There are a number of risk factors that can be easily controlled. People who lead an inactive lifestyle, smoke or are overweight or obese are at the greatest risk of developing some type of heart problem sometime in their lives.

Choosing a healthy lifestyle can help you improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Healthy lifestyle include eating a health diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting smoking (or not starting), and minimizing stress.

The Facts:

  • In the United States, heart disease is the #1 killer of both women and men.
  • Each year, 700,000 Americans die of heart disease, and approximately half of them are women.
  • Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer.
  • In a healthy adult, the body contains about 2 gallons (5 liters) of blood that is circulated over and over through the body.
  • The risk of coronary heart disease increase with age. Men ages 45 and older and women ages 55 and older have increased risk.
  • Children of parents who developed coronary heart disease before age 55 are more likely to develop it themselves.
  • People with inactive lifestyles have increased risk of developing a heart problem.
  • Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

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