The prevalence and incidence of heart disease contribute to high mortality and morbidity globally. Heart disease stands as a leading cause of death in the United States. Statistics show that the health problem claims more lives than every form of cancer combined, annually. Thus, the mortality rate of heart disease makes it a global health problem.
Heart disease essentially refers to various types of heart conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, aortic disease, peripheral arterial disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, and congestive heart failure (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Environmental Public Health, n.d.). The video Heart Disease: America’s leading cause of Death surprised me the most since I gained more insight into the history of heart disease. Early diagnosis of heart failure guides targeted treatment and related intervention.
Diagnosis assists physicians establish whether a patient faces a certain health condition. Cardiovascular disease was discovered fifty to sixty years ago as the leading cause of death, but its root cause was not known. Consequently, the U.S. Public Health Services launched a study of heart disease in 1948 at Framingham (Environmental Public Health, n.d.). The researchers established that the post-war period was characterized by high fat and cholesterol diet: eighty percent of the disease is due to identifiable risk factors such as sex, family history, unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (Environmental Public Health, n.d.). In this view, the diagnosis of heart disease entails identifying its symptoms, plus the techniques used in making the diagnosis.
Furthermore, technological innovation and advances such as washing machines and television contribute to reduced physical activity. Treatment and behavioral intervention measures can improve the diagnostic outlook of heart disease. Despite the positive impact of medical interventions, their evidence is empirical, thus, the emphasis on prevention. Behavioral changes like exercising, maintaining a moderate weight, and maintaining overall healthy habits can help in managing heart-related problems. Heart disease impairs normal blood flow, thus, the high mortality and morbidity rate. Therefore, prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment are pivotal in managing heart disease.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Heart disease facts.
Environmental Public Health (n.d.). Heart disease: America’s leading cause of death [Video].