American Heart Association releases statistics on heart disease and here is how to avoid it

ROANOKE,Va. – The stakes just went up on the number of Americans at risk for heart attacks and strokes.

According to the American Heart Association, a total of 1 million people will have a heart attack or die this year from heart disease. 

WSLS 10 News spoke to Melanie Johnson, a Carilion nurse who says that many people are walking around with high blood pressure and are unaware of it

“Folks need to know their blood pressure and keep a check on that and certainly if they are on medication for it,” Johnson said. “We see people that feel good and stop taking that medicine and that is really bad because they can come in with heart damage.”

A recent study released by the American Heart Association says that 103 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure. Also, there are 6.5 million Americans aged 20 and older who are living with heart failure.

From 2005 to 2015, there was a 38 percent rise in the number of high blood pressure deaths.

The problem is most common in the elderly and the study states that the older population is increasing in life expectancy. 

The local YMCA wellness director, Cal Buck, says employees there are doing all they can to get these individuals’ hearts and blood pumping. 

“We have recently seen an uptake in our older population signing up for personal training and they are the majority of individuals asking for additional training,” 

Buck said, adding that the Y they has classes and workouts geared to individuals who may be suffering chronic disease including heart disease.