September 29 is World Heart Day. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute. Leading up to World Heart Day, everyone is encouraged to examine their heart health and take charge with heart-healthy behavior.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (47%) are affected by at least one of these risks. A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.

There are different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common diagnosis, resulting from plaque buildup inside of arteries. Others are affected by arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat; congenital heart defects; cardiomyopathy, or weak heart muscles; heart valve problems; heart infections; or cardiovascular disease.

The

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Some e-cigarettes are made to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Some resemble pens, USB sticks, and other everyday items. Image from CDC

We have discussed the health ramifications of smoking tobacco in previous blog posts, but the rising trend in vaping with e-cigarettes leaves some with misconceptions that it is safe or at least less dangerous than smoking conventional cigarettes. Vaporizers and e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco products among youth.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a liquid (or “juice”) which contains nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. While no flame is used to combust and cause smoke, there is an aerosol vapor expelled when using e-cigarettes. The vapor can contain harmful chemicals, including nicotine; ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavoring such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to a serious disease called “popcorn lung”; volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which is found in car exhaust; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.

While the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found vaping may benefit adult smokers as a complete substitute for traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are

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February marks American Heart Month in the US.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute. During American Heart Month, everyone is encouraged to examine their heart health and take charge with heart-healthy behavior.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (47%) are affected by at least one of these risks. A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.

There are different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common diagnosis, resulting from plaque buildup inside of arteries. Others are affected by arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat; congenital heart defects; cardiomyopathy, or weak heart muscles; heart valve problems; heart infections; or cardiovascular disease.

The first step in being

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February marks American Heart Month in the US.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 42 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute. During American Heart Month, everyone is encouraged to examine their heart health and take charge with heart-healthy behavior.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (47%) are affected by at least one of these risks. A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as poor diet, obesity, and excessive alcohol use.

There are different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common diagnosis, resulting from plaque buildup inside of arteries. Others are affected by arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat; congenital heart defects; cardiomyopathy, or weak heart muscles; heart valve problems; heart infections; or cardiovascular disease.

The

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February marks American Heart Month in the US.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, affecting Americans of all backgrounds. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 43 seconds and someone dies from heart-disease related causes every minute.  During American Heart Month, everyone is encouraged to examine their heart health and take charge with heart-healthy behavior.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease.  High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are major risk factors for one’s heart health. Almost half of Americans (49%) are affected by at least one of these risks.  A diagnosis of diabetes also comes with increased risk of heart disease, as well as excessive alcohol use.

There are different types of heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the most common diagnosis, resulting from plaque buildup inside of arteries.  Others are affected by arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeat; congenital heart defects; cardiomyopathy, or weak heart muscles; heart valve problems; heart infections; or cardiovascular disease.

The first step in being aware of your

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