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1 in 12 U.S. Soldiers Have Heart Disease

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By Emily Lockhart

Does it surprise you to hear that heart disease is responsible for approximately 600,000 American deaths each year?

How about the fact that many can go years without being diagnosed with the “silent killer” known as heart disease?

What if you knew that even young, healthy, fit soldiers are at risk?

A surprising study reveals that over one in 12 U.S. service members who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan had heart disease before they were deployed!

“These are people who are asymptomatic, they feel fine, they’re deployed into combat,” says Dr. Bryant Webber, lead author of the study and doctor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda in Maryland.

The study findings were taken from autopsies done on 3,832 U.S. service members who died in October 2001 through August 2011 during combat or from unintentional injuries. The service members where an average age of 26 and almost 9-percent were found to have build-up in their coronary arteries, while approximately one quarter had build-up in their arteries that resulted in severe blockage. It’s also noted that about 98-percent of the service member study participants were men.

However, Webber points out that the study shows a positive decrease in heart disease in young U.S. men and women.

“Young, healthy people are likely to have a lower burden of disease today than their parents or grandparents had decades ago,” says Webber. Partly due to better control of blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as an overall decrease in smoking, obesity and diabetes, which are closely linked to heart disease.

Source: Reuters

Emily Lockhart


Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

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