Hands-down, the No. 1 killer of people in the United States is heart disease. The condition is responsible for the deaths of 647,000 men and women in our country — one in every four who die.
What’s even more frightening is that every year your odds of joining these ranks go up.
According to the American Heart Association, between the ages of 40 and 59, a man has a 40 percent chance of having heart disease (34.4 percent for a woman). However, once you’ve passed 60, those numbers rise dramatically to 70.2 percent for men and 70.9 percent for women.
And since we know that heart disease is the leading cause of heart attacks, the question is this…
Is there anything you’re doing right now that is increasing your risk of death? And what can you do differently that could save your life? You might be surprised:
#1 — Ditching breakfast
The journal Circulation reported a prospective review of research that found that men who skipped breakfast have a whopping 33 percent higher risk of heart disease than those who took time for the meal on a regular basis.
So, if you want to keep your heart healthy, reach for that breakfast cereal, protein shake or bagel. Whipping up some scrambled eggs could be an easy addition to your day.
#2 — Ignoring your gums
Research has found that bad bacteria in your mouth can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis — hardening and narrowing of your arteries — which can significantly up your risk of a heart attack.
This means that in order to focus on your heart health, you also have to focus on your oral health. Brush and floss at least twice daily and get in for those dental checkups!
#3 — Being lonely
This is a big one, especially right now when so many of us are spending more time cooped up in our houses than ever before thanks to social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Research found that feeling isolated socially can dramatically increase your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, participants in the study with self-reported lower levels of social relationships were found to have a 29 percent greater chance of ending up with heart disease.
So, what can you do about it?
Well, even if you can’t get out and visit friends, try chatting via FaceTime or Skype, set up regular phone calls with friends, attend a virtual dinner or game night or set up an online meeting for your book or gardening group.
#4 — Staying indoors
Once again, this one is especially important during the current time since with lockdowns you might be spending more time than ever inside, yet it’s vital to get out in the great outdoors.
That’s because a study published in Current Epidemiology Reports found that spending time in nature has the power to lower your risk of:
- cardiovascular disease
- ischemic heart disease
- death due to stroke
So, get outside and enjoy the sunshine, the spring breeze and the sound of the birds — even if it’s only in your own backyard.
#5 — Spending too little time in the bedroom
Finally, if you think sex makes you feel good temporarily but does nothing for your heart, think again!
According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, having sex once a month or less ups your risk of heart disease and therefore the heart attacks that can follow.
This means that spending more time in the bedroom with the one you love could actually save your life.
Lowering your heart disease risk
In addition to the easy lifestyle changes we talked about to keep your heart healthy, you’ll also love these 7 better-than-statin ways to lower heart disease risk from Dr. Michael Cutler.
Dr. Cutler is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine and is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. When it comes to helping patients ward off heart disease naturally, he certainly knows what he’s talking about.
In case you’re already in the high-risk age bracket for heart disease, it’s also important to know the warning signs to look for — especially the ones you might miss. So, with that in mind, be sure to check out this slideshow of 6 odd signs of heart disease.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25 cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To find out about these and more, click here to read Dr. Cutler’s free report!
- Statistical Fact Sheet 2013 UpdateBaby Boomers & Cardiovascular Diseases — American Heart Association
- Heart Disease Facts — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals — Circulation
- High-risk periodontal pathogens contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis
- Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies — BMJ
- A Review of the Health Benefits of Greenness — Springer Nature
- Sexual activity, erectile dysfunction, and incident cardiovascular events. — PubMed