What can a person do to decrease there own risk of heart disease and especially Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

Posted on 6 November 2017 by Sophie Stoney

While over 64 million Americans deal with Cardiovascular Disease, Sudden Cardiac Arrests (Heart Attack) claim the lives of more than 310,000 people each year; an astounding 850 deaths per day! If you look at the numbers, that's more deaths per year than breast cancer, stroke, and AIDS combined.

Research has provided us with some clearly defined risk factors and profiles for developing heart disease. It is still very difficult however to accurately predict first time cardiac events. In fact, it is often stated that the number one indicator of heart disease is in fact a Heart Attack.

Recent articles in Newsweek magazine regarding the untimely and tragic death of news correspondent Tim Russert discusses the fact that Mr. Russert was exercising and taking medication for asymptomatic coronary heart disease and that he had performed well in a stress test just two months prior to his cardiac arrest. We were still reflecting the loss of Russert when comedian George Carlin died of sudden heart failure and shocked us even further.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) nearly 17 million people around the world die of cardiovascular disease (CVD) every year, with more than half of those deaths being women. The WHO predicts CVD to be the leading cause of death in developing countries and by the year 2020 CVD will claim upwards of 25 million people per year. The mortality rates in the more developed countries are somewhat better due to access to health care lifestyle; however it is clear that cardiovascular disease is the number one killer.

What can a person do to decrease there own risk of heart disease and especially Sudden Cardiac Arrest?

The American Heart Association lists guidelines for decreasing your risk of CVD such as exercising regularly, not smoking, taking a low dosage of aspirin or use cholesterol lowering drugs such as statins as directed by a physician. Reduction of stress is also critical in managing heart health.

Certain dietary supplements have also been shown reduce the risk of CVD and death by sudden cardiac event. Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same manner as pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, typically dietary supplements are not allowed to state that they treat, cure, or prevent diseases or conditions...as that would make them a drug and therefore subject to the procedures for pharmaceuticals. However, as data and clinical research substantiating a medical benefit for a dietary supplement ingredient grows, the US Food and Drug Administration have the right to issue an authorized health claim. This is the case for two such natural ingredients that have been shown to lower the risk of developing coronary heart disease and reducing the risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

Omega-3 fish oils from fatty fish such as sardines and anchovies have been proven to lower triglycerides and reduce the risk of sudden death by cardiac arrest by between 50-70% per the American Heart Association. The recommended daily serving is to be greater than one gram per day Omega-3s.

Phytosterols are derived from plants and are analogous to cholesterol. The data shows that by ingesting phytosterols, you reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed from your diet. This results in lower cholesterol, which means a lower risk for developing CVD.

When taken together, phytosterols and Omega-3s, in the correct dose, may significantly lower the risk of developing CVD and reduce the risk of dying from a sudden cardiac arrest-even if there are no symptoms of cardiovascular disease.

Europe and certain Asian countries seem to be much farther along regarding the use of Omega-3s, phytosterols and other heart healthy, cardio-protective nutraceuticals. Take for example the many Italian hospitals that automatically provide a prescription for fish oil (Omega-3s) for every person who has experienced a heart attack. In the US, the post-heart attack patient is typically administered a battery of pharmaceutical drugs such as statins, beta-blockers, and blood thinners even though Omega-3s from fish oil have been proven to improve survival and may reduce lethal arrrythmias. However, the times do appear to finally be changing. For example, the Larry King Cardiac Foundation has recently begun offering Omega-3 supplements to all its participants.

It is clear that heart health should be a great health concern. Pure, concentrated Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and phytosterols should be considered by anyone who wishes to proactively address heart health and to reduce the risk of CVD and Sudden Cardiac Arrest.