God heals, and the doctor takes the fee.
-Benjamin Franklin

From "Heart Disease for Dummies," by James M. Rippe, MD:

Facing the bad news about heart disease:

Heart disease is public health enemy number one in America. In one or another of its manifestations, heart disease touches virtually every family in the United States. Consider these startling facts:

Almost 60 million Americans - almost one in every four - have one or more types of heart disease.

Heart disease and stroke cause more than one of every two deaths - more deaths than all other diseases combined.

An individual is more than 10 times more likely to die of heart disease than in an accident and more than 30 times as likely to die of heart disease than of AIDS.

Heart disease is an equal-opportunity killer. It is the leading cause of death in men and women and all ethnic and racial groups in the United States. If money is the most important thing in your life, you might like to know that the yearly estimated cost of cardiovascular disease in the United States is $286.5 billion.

Seizing the good news about controlling heart disease:

Extensive research proves that you can do many things in your daily life... even if you already have heart disease.

People who are physically active on a regular basis cut their risk of heart disease in half.

People who stop smoking cigarettes can return their risk of heart disease and stroke to almost normal levels within five years after stopping.

Overweight people who lose as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight can substantially lower their risk of heart disease.

Simple changes in what you eat can lower blood cholesterol.

The number of deaths from heart disease declined 20 percent during the last decade--a decline largely based on lifestyle changes.

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