Young Adults & Heart Disease Term Paper

Length: 12 pages Sources: 12 Subject: Healthcare Type: Term Paper Paper: #94065282 Related Topics: Chronic Kidney Disease, Heart Attack, Atherosclerosis, Coronary Artery Disease
Excerpt from Term Paper :

The Archives of Internal Medicine study confirmed that 30 minutes of walking a day (10-12 miles a week) "can prevent weight gain in most people who are now inactive. Other studies have shown that working up to 10,000 steps or more could reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Companies and organizations have encouraged their customers and members to participate in the program. ("10,000 steps a day")

The following table (1) denotes comparisons of numbers of steps.

Table 1:

Related Numbers of Steps ("10,000 steps a day")

Number of steps average person walks a day

3,000-5,000 steps

One mile (Approximately)

2,000 steps

Five Miles (Approximately)

10,000 steps

For anyone wanting to begin a10,000 step program, Professor David Bassett, PhD, University of Tennessee, recommends purchasing a quality pedometer. He 13 electronic pedometers and found nine inaccurately estimated the number of steps measured up to 45%. JSC, an independent product testing firm, recommended New Lifestyles NL-2000 pedometer. ("10,000 steps a day")

After purchasing a pedometer, the following measures will help ensure it counts steps accurately:

Attach the pedometer at the waistline, directly above the kneecap. Either side of the body will work.

Do not attach a pedometer to dresses, blouses or other loose garments.

When walking, regularly check the pedometer while to ensure it remains in position.

Always wear the pedometer in an upright position, unless a professional, knowledgeable individual instructs otherwise.

Statistics in 2007 report that approximately 300,000 Americans die each year from heart failure. In an ongoing John Hopkins study which began in 2001, researchers monitored approximately 7,000 men and women, age 45 to 84, of different ethnic backgrounds. These individuals did not display any symptoms of heart disease. Results found: "African-Americans developed heart failure at significantly higher rates (4.6 cases per 1,000 per year) than all other races, including Hispanics and Caucasians. Their rate was almost five times that of Chinese-Americans (1 case per 1,000 per year) and almost twice that of Caucasians (2.4 cases per 1,000 per year)." (Johns Hopkins...)

The reported racial risk differences, albeit, basically dissipated when diabetes and hypertension among African-Americans were not factored in. This writer proposes that this information reminds young adults that developing a healthy heart habits, no matter the race or age, can contribute to reduced risk for heart disease.

Johns Hopkins...)

Congenital and Chronic Disease Concerns According to recent findings from a nationwide screening program by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) published in the March 2007 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, young adults with chronic kidney disease will reportedly experience significantly more other, life-threatening conditions such as heart disease. A concern for young adults evolves from a survey that included 55,000 people considered high risk for developing kidney disease, "those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of these conditions or kidney disease." Many individuals with CKD do not realize they have the disease. Out of the participants in this study, this study: 29% were diagnosed with kidney disease; however only 2% were even aware they had a kidney problem. (Kidney Disease...)

Hope for Children with Congenital Heart Disease Zoler offers encouraging information to families with children born with congenital heart disease as a result of a study including approximately 70,000 participants with congenital heart disease who live in the province of Quebec. "During 1988-1989, the median age of death was 8 years old among patients with severe congenital heart disease (CHD) in Quebec (except those younger than 1 year). By 2004-2005, the median age of death in this group had soared to 42 years old, said Dr. Khairy, a cardiologist and epidemiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute.

Because of these changes in mortality, 'the burden of CHD has shifted to older patients.'" (Zoler)

Most Likely - Yet Less Likely

This writer...


A study by doctors at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield reports that young adults are most likely at risk for developing heart disease. "People under 40 with Type 2 diabetes have a higher risk than older people with the condition of developing cardiovascular disease." ("Heart disease 'time bomb'...") These individuals, however, are reportedly less likely to receive treatment for it.

Tomorrow's Time Bomb Question? This report contends that "an epidemic of diabetes among younger people will lead to a "time bomb" of heart disease claimed today.... findings come amid a huge rise in cases of the disease with the number of under 18s diagnosed increasing 10-fold since 2004." Simon O'Neill, of Diabetes UK, stresses that America is sitting on a time bomb and that current research "is extremely worrying, particularly in light of the fact that we already know that 80 per cent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease." ("Heart disease 'time bomb'...")

Can Heart Disease be Prevented?

Can a young adult really prevent heart disease by adhering to traditional strategies such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, habitually exercising, keeping healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure, and primarily eating "Go" foods. Sometimes, however, even when an individual does all these right things, he/she may still get heart disease. In turn, they and others around them few confused. Is the emphasis on preventing heart disease realistic or is it misleading? Can an individual actually prevent heart disease, or we'll what he/she does only slow it down? These questions are addressed by a doctor in a recent Harvard Heart Letter. This physician writes: "Preventing heart disease is, indeed, possible. The proof comes from autopsies conducted at the end of World War II in people who had lived at the edge of starvation. The arteries in their hearts showed virtually no atherosclerosis. Few people are going to go that far to ward off heart disease. Modern Western diets make it hard to avoid a fair amount of saturated fat and extra calories, and few people are as active as humans are probably meant to be. That means true prevention of atherosclerosis is out of reach for many people." Next best, the doctor recommends, is to slow the growth and spread of atherosclerotic plaque, which constitutes common denominator of cardiovascular diseases. For an individual to dramatically decrease his/her chances of a heart attack or for stroke, he/she does needs need to reduce or shrink cholesterol-filled plaque to prevent it from rupturing. When plaque ruptures, it is a key event that leads to blood clots forming. In turn, blood clots can block a coronary artery and cut off blood flow to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

Do the Right Thing Consequently, doing the right things such as to not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, and eating more "Go" foods do quality as essential steps to help prevent or reduce heart disease at bay. (Harvard Heart Letter)

Young adults who smoke, you not maintain a healthy weight, and/or have diabetes may not realize factors are risks for heart disease. Often, a young person presumes heart disease and heart attacks only happen to older people. An Emory study, nevertheless, concludes that people under 40, diagnosed with coronary artery disease experience a dramatically increased risk of death. "Emory researchers studied the medical records of 843 young adult heart patients (with an average age of 35 for women and 36 for men) who were diagnosed with one or more coronary artery blockages between 1975 and 1985. Miller and his colleagues found that by age 50, about 33% of these patients had died." ("Young adults with heart disease...") a third of participants in this study were dead at follow-up. For the young adults with diabetes, the death rate was approximately two out of three, Joe Miller III, MD, an Emory Heart Center cardiologist and assistant professor of preventative cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine, states. Smoking, according this study, dramatically increased the risk of death from heart disease. ("Young adults with heart disease...")

Heart Disease...")

Unlearning Risk Factors

Even though "industrialization, urbanization and mechanized transport" reportedly indirectly contribute to obesity as these factors relate to reduced physical activity, these do not constitute the current risk factors this writer proposes for young adults to consider combating. As noted repeatedly in this paper, "some major risks can be prevented, treated and controlled by stopping smoking, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity." Remember Greg? He continued to smoke

You are never too young to reduce the risk factors you can control including stopping smoking, losing weight if you need to and reducing cholesterol to a healthy level with diet and medication if appropriate.

Regular exercise and controlling diabetes are also key to helping prevent cardiovascular disease."

Young adults...)

Works Cited

AIDS to be 3rd leading cause of death." (2006, November 28). 18 Oct. 2007…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

AIDS to be 3rd leading cause of death." (2006, November 28). 18 Oct. 2007"Ask the doctor; Can you really prevent heart disease?" Harvard Heart Letter, 07/01/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, from" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">

Clinical Data Shows Vitamin C May Reduce Risks of Cancer, Heart Disease and Variety of Other Health Disorders." Business Wire, 09/24/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, from" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">

Drinking tea or coffee cuts heart disease risk in elderly." Europe Intelligence Wire, 02/24/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, from

Dairy Curbs Heart Disease and Diabetes." USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education) Feb. 2003: 8. Questia. 17 Oct. 2007
Field, Marilyn J. "When Children Die." Issues in Science and Technology Spring 2003: 93+. Questia. 17 Oct. 2007
Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics - 2005 Update." (N.D.) 18 Oct. 2007.
Heart disease 'time bomb' warning over epidemic." Europe Intelligence Wire, 03/14/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, from
M2 Presswire, 09/13/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, at
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007). "Who Gets Heart Failure? Race Takes Back Seat to Diabetes and High Blood Pressure; Study Limits Role of Race in Explaining High Rates of Disease Among African-Americans." 16 Oct. 2007, from
Kidney Disease Opens Door to Heart Disease, Other Leading Killers, Says National Survey. PR Newswire, 03/08/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, at
Reinhardt, Erika. "The Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke." UN Chronicle Mar.-May 2005: 46+. Questia. 17 Oct. 2007
Study Shows Programs Can Teach Children to Eat Healthier." FDA Consumer July-Aug. Questia. 17 Oct. 2007
10,000 steps a day or aerobic exercise? it's a trick question. The intensity of the exercise, not the exercise itself, determines if it is aerobic and if it can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity." Healthy Years, 02/01/2007. 16 Oct. 2007, from
Young adults with heart disease have dramatically increased risk of death." Heart Disease Weekly, 03/23/2003. 16 Oct. 2007, from
Zoler, Mitchel L. "Congenital heart disease patients living longer." Pediatric News, 07/01/2007.

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