Nearly a million Americans will suffer heart attacks this year

Nearly a million Americans will suffer heart attacks this year

March 27th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

It's not really news that the leading cause of death among people in this country involves heart disease.

It's reported that nearly a million people -- actually about 935,000 Americans a year -- suffer heart attacks.

No one is immune, of course. But some people obviously are more susceptible to heart problems.

Lifestyle factors can put someone at risk for heart disease. Those include stress-induced high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease.

In 2010, coronary heart disease was projected to cost the United States $108.9 billion including health care, medications and lost productivity, the CDC reported.

Most heart attacks happen when fatty deposits in an artery burst open, and a blood clot forms to seal the break, The Associated Press reports. A clot that is too big blocks off blood flow.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of California's Scripps Translational Science Institute, told the AP: "We don't have a way to get at whether an artery's going to crack."

Researchers say there still isn't a test that can predict with certainty when that will happen.

And unfortunately, many of us don't do enough to head off heart problems before it's too late.

But living right, eating right, and exercising right may help us avoid suffering heart problems.