by KYW’s medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough
When it comes to heart disease, we have the statistics. For instance, we know that coronary heart disease is responsible for one out of every five deaths in the country. The good news is that treatment of cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol and high blood pressure has resulted in a fifty percent decrease in deaths from coronary heart disease in the past thirty years.
That is the good news.
The bad news is that fewer than two thirds of people at increased risk if cardiovascular disease are using these treatments.
In case you are wondering, the biggest risk factors for heart disease are smoking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and lipids as well as diabetes. These all can be controlled to one degree or another. The one area that you can’t control is the final risk factor—age. The older you are the greater the risk for heart disease.