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Men’s health week time to look at cardio fitness;br;

Men should take note – heart disease is your number one enemy.

Sunday, June 10, 2001

Men should take note – heart disease is your number one enemy.Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the nation and according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, the number one cause of death in Ohio.

The CDC reports that in 1996, 42 percent of all deaths in the state were from heart disease and most of the victims were men – 52 percent at the national level.

Although some people, researchers are discovering, have a greater risk of developing heart disease, there is a way to combat the growing health risk.

Dr. Mark Studney, a cardiologist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., explained certain risk factors increase an individuals chance of developing heart problems.

He said men that want to prevent or decrease their chances of developing heart disease need to make changes in their life’s in order to combat the development of the disease and keep their heart-health in check.

"The key to help slow down or prevent heart disease is lifestyle changes to control the risk factors," Studney said. The physician listed certain factors such as controlling blood pressure, diabetes, decreasing "bad" cholesterol and increasing the "good" cholesterol.

One of the major risk factors that leads to heart disease, Studney pointed out, was smoking.

"Don’t smoke," he said, "and if you do smoke, stop."

Smoking is a major concern in this area and according to Studney, a "significantly high number of people smoke in this area." Information from the CDC confirms the doctors statement. Ohio is reported to have the eighth highest amount of smokers in the United States.

The doctor explained that exercising also helps in reducing the chances of developing heart disease.

"Aerobic exercise," Studney said helps keep the "cardiovascular system fit." He said activities such as walking, jogging, swimming or playing sports such as basketball or tennis can cause the heart rate to increase over an extended period of time. These activities help the heart grow stronger and keep the vascular system healthy.

Studney recommended a consultation with an individuals physician before starting an exercise program and said "it’s never too early or too late to start exercising" for a healthier heart.