February is “heart month” in many senses of the word. Right after the holidays, stores already began stocking up and selling heart candies, balloons, and cards all in preparation for Valentine’s Day. And why wouldn’t they? Love is something worthy of celebration! However, while those red and pink hearts are given to loved ones, they represent an even bigger expression of love we can all give this February: heart health awareness.
February is American Heart Month, in which we can bring awareness of Cardiovascular Disease to our loved ones. Knowing who is at risk for Cardiovascular disease and what measures to take to keep you and your loved ones healthy is the best gift we could ever give to one another.
What is Cardiovascular Disease?Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a widespread disease that accounts for one in every 3 deaths in the United States. The most common forms of CVD are heart attack, stroke, heart failure and arrhythmia. These conditions are discussed often, but with good reason. In 2017 alone, CVD was associated with these staggering statistics:
- An average of 1 person in the United States dies every 40 seconds from CVD
- CVD claims more lives per year than cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined
- CVD is the leading cause of global deaths.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Death
These statistics are scary and may serve as a wake-up call to many of us, but there is hope. While CVD may be the leading cause of death globally and in the US, there are tangible things we can all do to change this number.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of the effects of CVD is to be on top of your numbers and risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading, contributing factor to CVD and studies have shown that with 1mmHG reduction of blood pressure, the relative risk of cardiovascular disease and death is reduced by 2%. So, reducing your blood pressure by 15mmHg could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease or death by 30%!
High blood pressure can be a leading cause of CVD by creating a slow build-up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances that together are called “plaque”, inside the blood vessel walls, making it difficult for blood to pump efficiently to one’s heart. As our arteries harden with plaque buildup, blood clots are more likely to form, all of which point to an increase in CVD. Maintaining a healthy level of high blood pressure is crucial to reducing your risk of CVD as well as many other serious health conditions. In fact, as blood pressure increases, the risks of stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure also increase.
Who is At Risk and What You Can Do
The truth is, everyone can be at risk for High Blood Pressure, which is one of the reasons your Doctor takes a blood pressure reading at every visit. Regular check-ups by your general practitioner, in addition to knowing your numbers is key to maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure. Factors such as diet, exercise, and stress management are all normal protocols not only in preventing high blood pressure but also reducing it once you’ve been diagnosed. However, high blood pressure is a multi-faceted disease, and not all of your risk factors are within your control: age, genetics, gender and even race can play a role in your risk for developing high blood pressure.
Because the cause of high blood pressure is a multi-layered, complicated, and often hard to pinpoint, we have discovered that normal protocols, while prescribed with good intentions, do not successfully reduce high blood pressure to a level that puts the patient no longer at risk for developing CVD. At Rox Medical, we believe that a medical condition as serious as high blood pressure requires a serious, long-term solution that keeps the many and diverse risk factors in mind.
A New Option to Manage High Blood Pressure
To this end, we are excited to announce that we are in process of developing a new option for managing high blood pressure with a possible long-term solution that may prove to be more reliable and effective than the normal protocols to controlling high blood pressure. In this new therapy, the ROX Coupler, is a small implantable device that creates a passage (called an anastomosis) between an artery and a vein in your pelvis. This passageway allows a small amount of blood to flow from the artery to the vein. Since the blood in the artery is at a higher pressure than the blood in the vein, most patients will experience an immediate reduction in blood pressure.
This minimally-invasive procedure is undergoing current research and development through a clinical trial which will help shape the research that will define the future of high blood pressure treatment. As more patients are able to find an effective and long-term solution to controlling high blood pressure, our hope is that the numbers of deaths and those affected by CVD are greatly reduced. The Rox Coupler therapy has already shown promising results for patients, and we’ve only just begun.
Will you join us in helping reduce the numbers of CVD by participating in our clinical trial that may change the landscape of high blood pressure treatment? Find out if you or someone you know is eligible for participating in our clinical trial and together we can give those we love the gift of a healthier heart.