Some Statistics to Consider
We live in a society with broken hearts. Did you know that, on average, one person dies of cardiovascular disease in America every 34 seconds? That means every year, about 700,000 people die in the United States of cardiovascular disease, with over half of that being coronary heart disease, a blockage in the heart’s blood vessels. It means it is the cause of one out of five deaths in America each year. In 2019, heart disease was the underlying cause of 9.6 million deaths among men and 8.9 million deaths among women globally, accounting for one-third of the deaths in 2019. More than 6 million deaths occurred in people between 30 and 70 years of age. That means you have a 20–33% chance of dying from a heat-related illness. Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of death for both men and women of most racial and ethnic groups in America and worldwide for over a century, and the death toll continues to rise! One study found that heart disease cases have nearly doubled since 1990.
Along with being the leading cause of death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) — especially ischemic heart disease and stroke — is a significant cause of disability and rising healthcare costs. Heart disease costs the United States about $230 million annually and is rising into the trillions in the future. The same study found that there has been a significant increase in the loss of years of life due to heart disease, and the number of years lived with heart disease-related disability has also doubled since 1990.
Causes and Factors of Heart Disease
So, what is causing so much heart disease? The key factors in heart disease are unhealthy eating habits (the Standard American Diet), high cholesterol, excess salt, smoking, excess consumption of alcohol, lack of physical activity (a sedentary lifestyle), and mental stress. In addition, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure are other important factors in heart and cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, China had the highest number of heart disease deaths last year, followed by India, Russia, the United States, and Indonesia. Heart disease death rates were lowest in France, Peru, and Japan, where rates were six times lower than in 1990. So, what caused the difference in these different countries? Which of the critical factors made the most significant impact on these numbers? In a 2019 study, most heart disease deaths are attributed to ischemic heart disease and stroke, with a steady increase since 1990.
Ischemic heart disease is a term for heart problems caused by narrowed arteries. So, what is causing the arteries to narrow? Is it the diet, lack of exercise, or stress? Plaque builds up in the arteries of a person with heart disease, and the inside of the arteries begins to narrow, lessening or blocking blood flow while increasing pressure. Plaque can also rupture (break open). When it does, a blood clot can form on the plaque, blocking blood flow. This lack of blood flow increases blood pressure and leads to heart attacks. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. Of these, 605,000 are a first heart attack, 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack, and about 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent. That means the damage is done without the person being aware. As if this were not enough, a new factor was beginning in 2019: the COVID pandemic.
COVID has had three significant impacts on those with cardiovascular disease:
First, during the extended periods of quarantine, many people developed or returned to behaviors that can elevate their risk for heart disease, including poor eating habits and lower-quality diets, increased alcohol consumption, changes in work/sleep habits, and lack of regular exercise. In addition, the mental stress of social isolation and excessive sedentary screen time could also contribute to heart disease and stroke risk.
Second, many patients postponed regular doctor visits for the management of their chronic conditions. Hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol, resulting in an epidemic of poorly controlled conditions that can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke and could persist for years to come if not brought back under control.
Finally, and very interestingly, it created a fear of hospitals. Data from the American Heart Association show that many individuals experienced a heart attack or stroke during the pandemic and did not seek urgent care out of fear of contracting COVID-19 in a hospital setting. Unfortunately, many people may have experienced heart or brain damage with lasting consequences or even death. According to one expert, “Our messages for preventing heart disease and stroke and their risk factors have never been more important. Watch your diet, get up and move more, get the sleep your body needs, and please see your doctor to make sure you’re managing any chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.”
Treatment Options for Heart Disease
The data is excellent, but what can be done about all this heart disease? The initial medical approach is to modify dietary habits, restrict salt and cholesterol intake, create a moderate exercise routine, and manage stress. Then medication(s) to reduce blood pressure through multiple mechanisms, change the viscosity of the blood to make blood flow easier, lower cholesterol, and control the heart rhythm. In addition, medications to control appetite and possible surgeries to force weight loss. If that does not work, there is surgery to put in stints to open the blood vessels, and finally, heart replacement surgery. That is, if the disease does not kill the patient first. It is a very symptom-based approach. In addition, to the current treatment approaches, some experts within the medical field believe the key to success is greater awareness of the potential danger of heart disease, especially among females in the United States. According to Gary Balady, a School of Medicine professor of medicine and director of preventative cardiology, “without awareness, Americans are not equipped to take the proper precautions.” He also said, “when they are aware, they are more likely to take preventative measures.” Other experts think countries must create cost-effective public health programs to reduce heart disease risk through behavior changes. These are good sentiments, but will they change the treatment approach?
At Docere Life Center, we take a much different approach. We seek to get to the root cause of the illness, not just the symptoms of the disease, which include stealth infections, toxicity, and detoxification issues, buried emotions, etc. We use advanced somatic resonance testing to get the answers missed in modern medicine’s traditional diagnostic testing approaches.
Why is Heart Disease Still So Prevalent?
Let me leave you with this thought. With all the advances in medicine and medical care, especially in industrialized countries, why is heart disease still the most prevalent cause of death worldwide? I have a personal theory. Considering that the primary factors are almost entirely lifestyle driven, it seems that the problem does not start in the heart but instead in the head. These lifestyle choices are often emotionally driven, meaning we choose based on what we feel. We must ask where these feelings originate. They come from the way we consistently think over time. In addition, stress, a primary factor, is a manifestation of how we think and feel or perceive our world and directly affects the cardiovascular system. It creates a broken heart. At Docere, we can help you change the way you think, and we can also help uncover the hidden things that can amplify and significantly impact the health of your cardiovascular system. Call us today at (316) 837-1273 to find out how we can help you heal your broken heart.