Prior to beginning work on this assignment, examine the relationship between cardiovascular health status and wellness.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States (American Heart Association, 2013). Many risk factors are associated with CVD. A risk factor is a variable that can increase a person’s risk of developing a disease such as family history, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, can have a direct impact on a person’s wellness. Making healthy lifestyle changes can decrease a person’s risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Carmen was a 45-year-old single mother of two children. She has a good job, has strong spiritual values and beliefs, and has three close friends who she gets together with on a regular basis. However, Carmen eats fast food five days a week, feels stressed out most of the time, and does not have time to exercise. She cares about the environment but does not take the time to recycle. She would love to go back to school to get her Masters of Business Administration degree but does not think she has the time. Her current occupation provides her with adequate money to take care of her children, but she finds herself struggling to pay her bills.
Carmen, now 58 years old, has developed cardiovascular disease. Due to her continued diet of fast food and sedentary behavior, she has gained 20 pounds and has a BMI of 28; her blood pressure is 152/80 mmHg; her total cholesterol level is 230 mg/dL, and she does not meet the physical activity guidelines for adults. Recently, she has also been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and is determined to make a behavior change.
For this discussion address the following in your response:
- Summarize Carmen’s controllable risk factors for heart disease.
- Discuss the relationship between the lifestyle factors of poor diet and sedentary behavior to heart disease (particularly discuss the formation of plaque within the arteries). Use a reference to support your explanation.
- Explain the current recommendations for healthy levels of BMI, cholesterol, blood pressure, and physical activity.
- Devise a plan for Carmen to reduce her risk factors. The plan should include detailed dietary guidelines (recommendations for specific amounts of fat, cholesterol, caloric intake, etc.) and physical activity guidelines to include each of the FITT principles.
Include two scholarly references correctly cited in APA style.