Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States.
The statistics are staggering. In 2008, over 26 million Americans were diagnosed with heart disease. In 2006, nearly four and one-half million patients with heart disease were discharged from hospitals. The average length of stay in the hospital was almost 5 days. According to SC Vital and Morbidity Statistics Report, 8,983 South Carolinians died from heart disease in 2007.
Heart disease adversely impacts African Americans at much higher rates than whites. According to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), more than twice as many African American women as white women die from heart disease. For men, ages 45 to 64, three African Americans die from heart disease for every two whites.
The good news is that heart disease is preventable and treatable. If your doctor diagnoses you with heart disease, you can get treatment and live a normal life. The key is early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.