Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the US and possibly in other rapidly developing economies. The irony is that they are also the most preventable.
The leading controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke are: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes, diabetes, poor diet and physical activity, overweight and obesity. These risk factors, over a period of time, cause changes in heart and blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and strokes.
Many people have high BP and are not aware of it, or even if they are aware of it, do not have it under control. Controlling the risk factors mentioned through life style changes and diet will contribute significantly in alleviating the risk of heart disease and its debilitating effects. Life style and diet changes can also minimise the side effects of medications that doctors often prescribe as the first and immediate step to control high BP, cholesterol, and diabetes.