What's More Likely? You Winning the Lottery or Having Heart Disease?

If you heard that someone was going to win big in the lottery every 42 seconds every day, that would get your attention, right?

Well, truth is, there won’t be a big lottery winner every 42 seconds, but heart disease will strike someone in the U.S. every 42 seconds.

About 750,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. That’s more people than live in Milwaukee, Detroit or Minneapolis. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. It claims more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined.

Your chances of having a heart attack are better than winning big in the lottery. But there is good news.

You Can Take Steps to Prevent Heart Disease

And it doesn’t require you to buy a ticket! Just live healthfully!

  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure both your meals and snacks are healthy. Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. This can help keep your blood cholesterol in check. Limit your salt and sodium to help lower your blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight as recommended by your health care professional. If you prefer, check your body mass index for a guide to your healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy weight and lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. The Surgeon General suggests adults get two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
  • Get tested for diabetes and control it if you have it.
  • Live smoke free and encourage those around you to do the same. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you’ve been a smoker, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease.
  • Limit alcohol to help control your blood pressure.

For measures such as your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, your health care provider is a good resource.

If you’re ready to put smoking behind you, your health care provider can give you effective ideas to reach your goal.

We can’t say if you’ll win the lottery, but we know you can reduce your chances of being a victim of heart disease. The clock is ticking!

Meet the Author

Louie N. Kostopoulos, MD is a Cardiovascular Disease physician at Aurora Cardiovascular Services in Milwaukee, WI.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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