Preventing Chronic Disease for Longevity

healthy_aging_image300The top three leading causes of death for American women as reported by the CDC are all mostly preventable chronic diseases.*  Here they are in order of occurrence.

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Cancer
  3. Chronic airway disease

This is in contrast to 100 years ago, when the top three causes of death were Pneumonia,  Tuberculosis and Diarrhea–all infectious disease. Death rates from infectious disease began to decline in the 1920’swith the introduction of medical interventions including antibiotics and public health measures. At the same time, the incidence of heart disease started to rise which coincided with the development of processed food and fast foods, such a white bread,  candy bars, kool-aid and popsicles. Americans started eating processed foods, working in factories, driving cars, increasing exposure to toxins and reducing their exposure to sunlight,  pure water and vitamin-packed fresh produce: the perfect combination for chronic disease to take a foot hold.

Today the four common causes of chronic disease according to the CDC are*:

  1. Lack of aerobic physical activity
  2. Diet–particularly eating too few fruits and vegetables
  3. Smoking
  4. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking  (binge drinking is considered consuming more than four drinks on any one occasion for women or five drinks for men)

How might we reduce these causes of mortality among Americans?  The answer is through preventative health care.  Some of the top preventative health strategies are listed below:

  1. Eat a healthy well balance diet
  2. Get adequate sleep
  3. Regular exercise
  4. Balance your hormones
  5. Reduce your stressors or learn ways to reduce the effects of stress on your body

In honor of National Women’s Health Week, please call or use an online scheduler to book an appointment with your health care provider. Talk with them about your best health and longevity strategies.  What are your risks?

For more information about what to ask your provider, please see Five Things You Should Ask Your Doctor at Your Annual Check-up another article in this month’s newsletter.

*http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm