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80 percent of heart disease is preventable

  |   Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:02 PM
ROCHESTER, Minn., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of U.S. men and women even though almost 80 percent of it is preventable, a Mayo Clinic cardiologists says.

Cardiologist Dr. Martha Grogan, medical editor-in-chief of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! said there are several simple tips to reduce heart disease risk.

Grogan encouraged people to move 10 extra minutes each day because a sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of heart attack almost as much as smoking does, recent studies showed.

Make an effort each day to get up from the desk to go talk to a colleague instead of sending an email, or walk around the house as you talk on the phone, Grogan recommended.

"Moving even 10 minutes a day for someone who's been sedentary may reduce the risk for heart disease by 50 percent," Grogan said in a statement.

Americans too often cheat themselves of sleep and their hearts can pay the price, said Dr. Virend Somers, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and sleep expert.

"Sleep is a necessity, like food and water. It's not a luxury," Somers said.

Chronic sleep deprivation can increase the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.

Dr. Randal Thomas, a Mayo preventive cardiologist said a 53-year-old male smoker with high blood pressure has a 20 percent chance of having a heart attack over the next 10 years. If he stops smoking, his risk drops to 10 percent; if he takes high blood pressure medicine, it falls to 5 percent, Thomas said.

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