About 2,200 Americans die every day of heart disease, the average being one death in every 40 seconds. It is estimated that 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year. Lifestyle and unhealthy diet are major contributors to a cardiovascular disease.
High cholesterol levels are increasing the risk of a cardiovascular disease. If there is excess cholesterol, it accumulates on the walls of the arteries, thereby causing hardening of the arteries with time. The arteries narrow and the blood flow to the heart becomes compromised. As a consequence, the heart does not get enough oxygen, thus causing a heart attack.
Stroke happens when an artery or a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot. Additionally, it can happen if a blood vessel breaks, thereby preventing proper blood flow to the brain, which results in lack of oxygen. LDL is responsible for carrying the cholesterol to the tissues and into the blood stream, where it is stored by the body. Extra LDL, or bad cholesterol, can cause accumulation of plaque, thus clogging the arteries. All of this lead to stroke.
Giving Blood Can Reduce the Risk of a Stroke and Heart Attack
Researchers from the University of Kansas conducted a study in 1997, which involved 3,855 candidates. As part of this research, they compared data from non-blood donors and blood donors on vascular events like stroke, heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty and nitroglycerin use. The results showed that 9.77% of blood donors suffered from the above mentioned events, while 17.72% of non-donors. Based on this, the researchers came to the conclusion that non-donors have 81% bigger chances of suffering from a heart disease.
The results from another study from 1998 showed that blood donors had from 75 to 88% reduced risk of a heart attack.
In What Way Does Blood Donation Reduce the Risk of a Cardiovascular Disease?
It has not been proven yet, however researchers believe that donating blood reduces blood’s thickness. Atherosclerosis is characterized by accumulation of fatty materials on the walls. According to medical experts, stored iron can stimulate cholesterol oxidation that is associated with atherosclerosis. In the case of donating blood, some of the stored iron is shed, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
It is proven that donors have thinner blood, compared to non-donors, and they also have reduced risk of thrombosis, which is clotting of the blood which causes stroke or a heart attack. Being physically active, and consuming a healthy diet are the best ways of reducing cholesterol levels, but donating blood will also play an important role in lowering the blood cholesterol levels.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels in This Way
- Eat a Healthy Diet
You will reduce the cholesterol levels by reducing the amount of cholesterol and saturated fats in your diet. You will unclog your arteries by eating healthily and incorporating certain foods to your diet.
- Maintain a Healthy weight
One if the risk factors for a cardiovascular disease is being overweight. Having a healthy weight is crucial for reducing the risk of a cardiovascular disease and also for the health in general.
- Be Physically Active
Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for a cardiovascular disease. By doing regular exercise, you will lower the bad cholesterol, but increase the good one. This will also help you lose weight faster. Half an hour of physical activity per day is recommended.
- Do not Smoke
If you are a smoker, stopping can boost the levels of the good cholesterol. In the first year of quitting, a person has already reduced their chances of a cardiovascular disease by 50%.
- Drink Alcohol in Moderate Amounts
Consuming a lot of alcohol can cause serious health issues, some of them being stroke, heart failure and high blood pressure. What is recommended is that men and women under the age of 65 can have two drinks a day at the maximum and one drink a day at the maximum for people older than 65.
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