12 Surprising Facts for Heart Health Month

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with one death every 34 seconds. 
  2. High blood pressure is the top risk factor for heart disease. 
  3. High cholesterol and smoking are the next most common risk factors for heart disease.
  4. Obesity can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol, not to mention diabetes. As a result, it can lead to heart disease. 38.7% of Arkansans are obese.
  5. Being completely sedentary creates a higher risk of heart disease than smoking. More than 30% of people in Arkansas reported getting no exercise outside of their jobs in a recent study.
  6. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease as people in general. Nearly 15% of Arkansans have diabetes, and many more have prediabetes.
  7. Sitting is not good for your heart, even if you exercise. Try to stand often if you work at a desk.
  8. Drinking alcohol can increase your chances of heart disease. Heavy drinking definitely does so.
  9. Depression can increase your risk of heart disease.
  10. Getting six to eight hours of sleep every night decreases your chances of heart disease.
  11. Loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of heart disease.
  12. Getting older is a major risk factor for heart disease. It’s one of the few risk factors completely out of our control. However, heart disease is increasing among young people.

You have more control over some of the contributing factors for heart disease than for others, but experts estimate that heart disease is 80% preventable. Talk with your primary care provider about the steps you should take to safeguard your heart health.