In the United States, heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases remain the most common causes of death. While genetics and environmental contaminants contribute to some of these conditions, lifestyle factors play a large role in these health concerns. For heart disease alone, smoking, a lack of exercise and a poor diet contribute to someone’s risk. Avoiding these factors can help reduce the chances of someone dying from a chronic disease while improving their quality of life.
Heart disease tops the list as the leading cause of death in the United States. This major health concern led to 611,105 deaths in 2013. Individuals are at a higher risk if they are obese or use tobacco products. Drinking excessively and not exercising are also contributing factors. To prevent this health problem from becoming a problem, individuals should eat a balanced diet and exercise.
An estimated 584,881 people died from cancer in the United States. Scientists have recently discovered several genes that seem to increase an individual’s chances of developing cancer. Although genetics play a role in this illness, they are not the only thing sat fault. Environmental contaminants, tobacco products, drinking and a poor diet have also been linked to cancer.
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
With 149,205 deaths, chronic lower respiratory diseases are a growing concern for Americans. Like the previous health concerns, an individual can reduce their chances of developing respiratory problems by not smoking.
A total of 130,557 people died from accidents in the United States. Among younger individuals, accidents and suicides were actually the leading cause of death. For suicides, treating mental disorders like depression can help to reduce an individual’s risk factors. As for accidents, car crashes and workplace accidents can be prevented by avoiding alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, it is impossible to entirely reduce the risks of a potential accident.
Strokes are linked to age and genetics, but there are some contributing risk factors that can be changed. High blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol and a poor diet are all connected to an individual’s risk of having a stroke. Working out, eating healthily and quitting smoking can reduce or eliminate some of the risk factors.
Controlling Risk Factors
An estimated seven out of ten deaths are caused by chronic diseases, and many of these conditions can be prevented by reducing risk factors. The majority of risk factors such as drinking excessively, not working out, using tobacco or eating a poor diet can be controlled by the individual. Unfortunately, an estimated half of adults do not receive enough physical activity. Another 90 percent consume too much sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure. Meanwhile, cigarette smoking contributes to an estimated 480,000 deaths every year. An additional 88,000 deaths are caused by drinking too much alcohol.
If you are reading this, there is some good news: you are alive and still have time to change. Many of the leading health concerns in the United States are partially or entirely preventable. Living a healthy lifestyle through exercising and eating healthily can immediately begin to reduce your risk of developing a chronic illness.