1. Ischemic heart disease, or coronary artery disease
The deadliest disease in the world is coronary artery disease (CAD). Also called ischemic heart disease, CAD occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart become narrowed. Untreated CAD can lead to chest pain, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
Impact of CAD across the world
Although it’s still the leading cause of death, mortality rates have declined in many European countries and in the United States. This may be due to better public health education, access to healthcare, and forms of prevention. However, in many developing nations, mortality rates of CAD are on the rise. An increasing life span, socioeconomic changes, and lifestyle risk factors play a role in this rise.
Risk factors and prevention
Risk factors for CAD include:
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- family history of CAD
- being overweight
Talk to your doctor if you have one or more of these risk factors.
You can prevent CAD with medications and by maintaining good heart health. Some steps you can take to decrease your risk include:
- exercising regularly
- maintaining a healthy weight
- eating a balanced diet that’s low in sodium and high in fruits and vegetables
- avoiding smoking
- drinking only in moderation