High blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, and congenital heart disease are all examples of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term used to refer to any disease which interferes with the heart’s natural function (“Facts”).
Cardiovascular disease is an equal opportunity killer and affects the young, old, both genders, and every ethnic group. Today, the leading cause of death within the United States is heart disease. In 2005, over $230 billion dollars were spent on heart related health care including medications, hospitalizations, and out patient services. Heart disease continues to increase in severity, and frequency (Dooley 873).
Around the current rate, it is estimated that in ten years, heart disease will not just be an epidemic that plagues the United States but a world wide pandemic. “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading killer in many developed countries, and is soon expected to be the leading killer in all countries.”(Weinhold 880).
The American Heart Association has worked since the early 1900s to raise awareness and funds to support and encourage cardiovascular disease research. Additionally, the American Heart Association continues to work to raise public awareness about all cardiovascular disease through the use of public information and education programs.
Obviously, there are only two solutions to this problem. The first solution involves research. Through research scientists can figure out what causes minorities and women to be at a higher risk for heart disease and work toward a cure for heart disease. This choice would be great because it would put an end to heart disease. However, a cure is no where in sight but is certainly a goal.
The second solution is to make it a point to education minority women and offer then classes in how to prevent cardiovascular problems and stay healthy. This disease can be prevented by regular exercise, healthy diet, weight loss, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, and other lifestyle changes.
The hard part is that sharing knowledge really does nothing if individuals do not follow through. Many minority women simply do not have the funds to eat right and join a gym. It is important to know that damage to the arteries can usually be reversed in the early stages of these diseases; therefore, it is important to be regularly monitored for conditions that can lead to the diseases.
Doctors are increasingly stressing the importance of a diet low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. In fact, it has been said that a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables is one of the first defenses against cardiovascular disease. And lowering salt and sodium intake is an effective way to help lower blood pressure.
Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.4 grams of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. The 6 grams include ALL salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table.
For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure-lowering benefits. Lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better(Chappell 1) .