In This Chapter
Reviewing the good and bad news about heart disease in the United States
Looking at heart disease as an equal opportunity health problem
Finding out that you can improve your heart health
Reversing your risks of heart disease — what’s possible
Human health, daily performance, and life itself depend on the heart. The heart and the cardiovascular system have amazing sophistication, strength, and durability. At the same time, the health of the heart rests in a fragile balance. When even small parts of its complex machinery are a little bit out of whack, the heart can cause great discomfort, pain, and even death.
Despite the emotional energy we attach to our hearts and the heart’s crucial importance to life itself, most people are pretty ignorant about the heart and how it works. You know you can’t live without one. You know that heart disease is pretty common and more than a little scary. So when your doctor says your cholesterol levels or elevated blood pressure are raising your risk of heart disease, it’s a little alarming. ...