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Men’s Health Month: Heart Conditions and Male Risk Factors

Courtesy of American House

Men’s Health Month: Heart Conditions and Male Risk FactorsJune is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and there’s no time like the present to give your overall health the attention it needs. Men have a number of specific health concerns, like prostate cancer and hormone deficiencies, but heart disease is the leading cause of male deaths in the U.S.

In a 2015 study, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports the following information on men’s heart health and risk factors:

Heart Disease Facts
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death of men in the United States, killing 321,000 men in 2013—that’s 1 in every 4 male deaths.1
• Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian American or Pacific Islander men, heart disease is second only to cancer.2
• About 8.5% of all white men, 7.9% of black men, and 6.3% of Mexican American men have coronary heart disease.3
• Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.3 Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
• Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.3

Risk Factors
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.4 Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
• Diabetes
• Obesity
• Poor diet
• Physical inactivity
• Excessive alcohol consumption

Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Every year, more than 350,000 men die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), known as a “silent killer” because most men never experience prior symptoms. When the heart stops beating, the blood supply to the body and the brain shut down, and death is usually imminent.

Unlike a heart attack, where a portion of the heart stops due to a blockage, SAC is not a blockage problem, caused by poor blood circulation; it’s an electrical stimulation problem. If defibrillation is not administered immediately, the likelihood of survival decreases. A defibrillator sends an electric shock to the heart, which stops the heart ‘s ventricle fibrillation, an erratic arrhythmia, so it can begin beating and pumping normally again.

If you witness someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest and an automated external defibrillator (AED) is not available, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) should be administered until defibrillation can be applied. Using an AED significantly increases the chance of survival when used with CPR. This is the reason that many public places, like airports, sports venues, shopping centers, hotels, and even schools have automated external defibrillators available. AED’s can detect whether or not the person is genuinely suffering from a severe arrhythmia, and only sends an electrical shock to the heart if this has occurred. The device is easy to use, but when dealing with the perilous seconds of someone’s life, sometimes AED’s are not used quickly enough.

Signs and Symptoms
• Coronary Heart Disease
• Personal or Family History of SCA or Heart disorders
• Drug/Alcohol Abuse
• Prior Hear Attack
• Heart Failure
• CHD/Coronary Heart Disease

If you have any heart concerns, it’s important to contact your physician for a checkup and to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist for diagnostic testing. If you are having symptoms of heart failure, DON’T HESITATE. Call 911 immediately.

At American House Senior Living Communities, it matters to us that our residents live a healthy and active life. That’s why we invite experts over for informative presentations, year-round, to discuss healthy living, providing tips and preventative screenings to help our residents live life to its fullest. Get expert advice when you join us for one of our information health series.

American House has dedicated nearly 40 years to enriching the lives of those we serve. We provide the peace of mind, privacy, services and amenities you want and need. Our communities offer Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care services so you can enjoy access to quality housing, exceptional services, and the freedom to choose. Come experience it all for yourself. Let us show you why so many seniors call American House home!

References
1. Xu, JQ, Murphy, SL., Kochanek, KD, Bastian, BA. Deaths: Final data for 2013. National Vital Statistics Report. 2016:64(2).
2. Heron M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2008[PDF-2.7M]. National vital statistics reports. 2012;60(6).
3. Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, Benjamin EJ, Berry JD, Borden WB, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2012 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2012;125(1):e2–220.
4. CDC. Million Hearts™: strategies to reduce the prevalence of leading cardiovascular disease risk factors. United States, 2011. MMWR2011;60(36):1248–51.

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