Be Heart Smart – Know Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Heart disease is serious. It’s the most common cause of death for adults. Your risks for heart disease are not as great as for men, until menopause. Then your risk is about the same.

There are risk factors for heart disease that you can’t control, but there are many risks that revolve around your lifestyle. Those you can control – if you want to. It’s your choice. You can create a lifestyle that reduces your risks for heart disease and gives you a fighting chance, despite any uncontrollable risks. But it will take some commitment on your part.

Before you get started, it’s important to be aware of the following.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Heart Disease

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Genetics/Family History

Controllable Risk Factors for Heart Disease

  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy Diet
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Chronic Stress

You can start being heart smart by scheduling your annual well-woman exam. It’s important that you and your doctor establish some baseline numbers, evaluate your personal and family medical history, review your current lifestyle and diet, and assess your personal risks.

Once you’ve compiled the information, you can discuss the steps you need to take to reduce your risks. If you are dealing with menopause, you can also discuss whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is right for you.

Creating a healthy diet and exercise plan are essential. Both will help with cholesterol, weight, diabetes, and high blood pressure concerns. Unfortunately, if your blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol are too out of control, you may need to use medications to help manage them.

Learning to make better choices for better health can help you reduce your risks for heart disease. Many risk factors are in your control, so learn your risk factors and take action today.

This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.  Reprinted with permission: Be Heart Smart – Know Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease

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