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From Patricia Bowman

April 11, 2012
Wetzel Chronicle

Prevention of Progression.

The United States has five percent of the world's population but performs 50 percent of the world's interventional cardiac procedures. Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease begins early in life and is influenced over time by the interaction of genetic and behavioral factors, as well as environmental exposures.

Accumulated evidence points to established, potentially modifiable risk factors and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors as important determinants of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in the United States. One reason these statistics are fact is undeniably a lack of commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it's also your responsibility. Don't walk down the dead end road; instead choose to walk down the prevention road.

Know your numbers! Aim for a healthy weight, reduce blood cholesterol, lower high blood pressure, choose a healthy heart diet, be physically active every day (whatever you are able to do), reduce stress, manage diabetes, and limit alcohol. If you smoke, quit. If someone in your household smokes, encourage them to quit. I know it's tough, but it's tougher to recover from a heart attack or stroke or to live with chronic heart disease. Commit to quit.

Discuss a plan with your nurse practitioner, physician, or physician assistant. Get to goal. Therapeutic lifestyle changes and aggressive medical treatment save lives. Together we can change the "Fix it Mentality."

Patricia Bowman, FNP-BC

New Martinsville



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