How to Cut Risk of Heart Disease

Primrary Care Blog

Which of the following measures will cut a patient's risk of heart disease by 50%?

1.  Losing weight
2.  Stop Smoking
3.  LDL-C below 100 mg/dl
4.  Blood Pressure below 120/80 mmhg

If you said "Stop Smoking" you would be correct.  Does that surprise you?  We hear about blood pressure control, cholesterol control and getting weight under control but cigarettes are the biggest risk factor for having a heart attack or stroke and quitting smoking is the single most important step to reducing risk.  A 50 year old male smoker who is overweight, hypertensive, and has high cholesterol has about a 25% change of having a heart attack in the next 10 years.  If he stops smoking he can reduce that 10 year risk to 11%.

It is hard to believe anyone still smokes but according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there were 43.5 million adults in the United States who smoked in 2010.  Smoking related diseases cost us all about 96 billion in health care costs annually. 

The Tobacco Industry spends $10.5 billion annually in marketing its products nationwide.  The entire GNP of Liberia is only $.44 Billion.


This blog was originally posted at EverythingHealth