By: Eric LaPointe
Top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2013
1. Heart disease - 611,105
2. Cancer - 584,881
3. Chronic lower respiratory disease - 149,205
4. Accidents - 130,557
5. Stroke - 128,978
6. Alzheimer's disease - 84,767
7. Diabetes - 75,578
8. Influenza and pneumonia - 56,979
9. Kidney disease - 47,112
10. Suicide- 41,149
Why is heart disease the number one killer in the United States?
Plaque- Deposits made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood.
Coronary Arteries- Arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Cardiovascular Disease- A condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries.
Tests and Diagnosis
Besides blood tests and a chest X-ray, tests to diagnose heart disease include:
Electrocardiogram (ECG) - Records electrical signals that detect irregularities in the heart's rhythm and structure.
Holter monitoring - A portable device worn around a continuous ECG, usually for 24 to 72 hours. Detects heart rhythm irregularities that aren't found during a regular ECG exam.
Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan- Lie on a table inside a doughnut shaped machine. X-rays produce images of the heart and chest.
Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - Lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field produces pictures.
Lifestyle changes- Eat a low-fat and low-sodium diet. Exercise 30 minutes most days of the week. Quit smoking and limit alcohol intake.
Medications- If lifestyle changes are not enough, doctors can prescribe medications.
Procedures or surgery- If medications are not enough, surgery specific to the type of heart disease may be needed.
Conclusion- Why is heart disease the number one killer in the United States?
. Increases risk of heart attacks, which can not be predicted.
. Affects both men and women.
. Affects obese people.
. People do not recognize their symptoms in time to get proper treatment.
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CDC (2015) Heart disease facts. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm (Accessed: 26 February 2016).
Nichols, H. and Webberley, H. (2015) The top 10 leading causes of death in the US. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php (Accessed: 26 February 2016).
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