Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Cut Risk of Heart Disease

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.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! I am glad to see people curtail smoking, but the example given is misleading. The person cited already has three other risk factors. Is the reduction by eliminating smoking controlling for the other risk factors? What is the effect of the risk factors combined and as single risks? Thank you, Barbara

Health said...

This tips are very helpful to prevent heart disease. Thanks for sharing.

Toni Brayer, MD said...

Barbara: You are correct that the 4 risk factors together gave him a 25% chance of death. Three risk factors without the cigarettes gave him an 11% risk of heart attack in 10 years. The risk factors are cumulative with each other but smoking is the worst one and had the strongest impact.

I agree this is not a clear and clean way to present data but the evidence for cigarettes effect on cardiovascular disease, cancer,pulmonary and vascular disease are irrefutable.

Liz said...

thanks for the great...and graphic!....info.


Absolute Health Fitness said...

Great post and good information.. I've learned lessons from this..Lots of interesting points here. Thanks!