The link between heart disease and disability

When you think of heart disease, you probably think primarily of heart attacks and strokes. Even then, you likely think most about fatal incidents.

There's a reason that you look at it this way. After all, reports have found that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. It is followed by cancer and then medical mistakes and errors.

The obesity epidemic plays a role here. While some of this is genetic, there is no doubt that the high fatality rates also connect to dietary choices and a lack of exercise.

However, that does not mean that heart disease is instantly fatal or that it is always fatal for everyone with the diagnosis. In fact, experts have found that it is one of the top reasons for disability in the United States. They say that people can spend years or even decades living with heart disease. They claim that about 17 percent of the health costs in the country stem from this one issue.

Granted, that study does lump heart disease and strokes together, but they are related conditions. They can also both "severely limit" a person's ability to hold a job, especially when physical labor is involved.

Remember, the results of over-exertion could be fatal. Someone living with one of those conditions cannot take the chance and do a job that puts their very life in jeopardy.

If you find yourself in this position, you need to know what rights you may have to Social Security Disability benefits. They can help you cover the basic costs of living when your health condition makes it impossible to stay in the workforce.

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