Monday, July 7, 2008

7 Dirty Words You Really Should Know

Thanks to George Carlin we know there are seven words you can never say on television. There are also seven dirty words about heart disease that everyone should know.

In a fashion that might make Carlin smile, here are seven dirty words about heart disease:
1. Diet
Fat, sugar and foods high in cholesterol are known to contribute to heart disease. Diabetes, which is diet-related, also damages the heart and blood vessels.
2. Genetics
African Americans, Hispanics, native Americans all have higher rates of high blood pressure and heart disease.
3. Stress
Working too much, dramatic personal lives, worrying and depression are stress triggers. We feed that stress and make it worse with too much alcohol and other drugs.
4. Smoking
Cigarettes constrict blood vessels and strain the heart and lungs.
5. Inactivity
The heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised. Even moderate activity is helpful, and losing 10 pounds can reduce your cardiac risk.
6. High blood pressure
Hypertension leads to undue stress on a variety of organs, including the heart. Combine this with other risk factors and it increases the chance of a heart attack many times over.
7. Denial
Saying "it won't happen to me" without changing your lifestyle, guarantees you won't see a decrease in your risk.

"If these seven dirty words about heart disease ring true for you, check with your doctor. It's not too late to do something that will decrease your risk of dying from a heart attack, and improve and prolong your life," says Dr. Cam Patterson, chief of the Division of Cardiology and director of the Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

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