Leaders in Support
Advances against cardiovascular disease abound... Research to
prevent arterial blockage...Heart disease death rate falling...
Headlines like these are not fictional. There IS progress against the
nation's long-standing, number one killer. The Cryptic Masons Medical
Research Foundation helps assure continued progress by supporting
investigations that will hopefully bring about a cure for cardiovascular
Cardiovascular disease touches everyone directly or indirectly, causing
more deaths than the next two leading causes of death-cancer and
accidents-combined. In addition to causing a tragic loss of human life,
cardiovascular disease also has a severe economic impact. The American
Heart Association estimates the current cost of the disease at more than
$137 billion annually.
The Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation focuses its energy and
philanthropic resources on advancing research into the most prevalent type
of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis. For more than ten years the
foundation has contributed, in order to make a significant difference in
the lives of many.
The future looks promising.
How the Disease Develops
The inner layer of a normal artery is gradually injured by
high blood pressure, circulating cholesterol, and oxidizing substances
that are increased by smoking.
A gradual thickening of the artery wall occurs as
cholesterol accumulates and smooth muscle cells grow.
The thickening wall's mechanical instability causes it to
crack without warning.
The irregular wall is now a potent stimulus for clot
formation (thrombosis). The formation of such a clot may often prove to be
the final step in blockage of an artery leading to heart attack or stroke.
Every 34 seconds, an American dies from some form of
cardiovascular disease. Each year, close to 2 million Americans become
stroke victims. Medical Research has identified several factors that are
associated with a significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular
disease. Some factors such as male gender, heredity, and advancing age
cannot be changed. However, there are additional factors, several of which
result from lifestyle choices, which can be modified or controlled:
High Blood Pressure - increases the heart's work load, causing it
to enlarge and weaken over time. One in four adult Americans has high
Smoking - is the most significant risk factor for sudden cardiac
death. Smokers have two-to-four times the risk of sudden cardiac death as
High Cholesterol - increases the risk of coronary artery disease.
The higher the level, the higher the risk.
Sedentary Lifestyle - can lead to several risk factors for
atherosclerosis, including excess weight and high cholesterol. Lack of
exercise is especially risky when combined with an unhealthy diet.
Warning Signs - The following are warning signs of a heart attack.
• Prolonged, heavy squeezing pain in the heart
• Shortness of breath with nausea
• Radiating pain in the neck, shoulder, or arm.
If you experience these symptoms, please contact your doctor.