Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a major cause of disability. There are many things that can raise your risk for heart disease. Some of them you cannot control, but there are many that you can control. Learning about them can lower your risk of heart disease.
- Age. Your risk of heart disease increases as you get older. Men age 45 and older and women age 55 and older have a greater risk.
- Sex. Some risk factors may affect heart disease risk differently in women than in men. For example, estrogen provides women some protection against heart disease, but diabetes raises the risk of heart disease more in women than in men.
- Race or ethnicity. African Americans are more likely than whites to have heart disease, while Hispanic Americans are less likely to have it. Some Asian groups, such as East Asians, have lower rates, but South Asians have higher rates.
- Family history. You have a greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.
What can you do?
- Control your blood pressure. High Blood Pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly - at least once a year for most adults, and more often if you have high blood pressure. Take steps, including lifestyle changes, to prevent or control high blood pressure.
- Control your weight. This will also help diabetes, blood pressure and joint pain
Eat Right: whole grains, vegetables, fruit. Reduce amount of red meat and high fat foods.
- Stop tobacco use
- Limit alcohol
- Regular exercise work up to 150 minutes/week
- Manage stress
- Manage Diabetes
- Get enough sleep
- Talk to your Physician: If you snore you may need a sleep apnea study. Sleep apnea raises your risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Do not take aspirin everyday unless your physician has told you to; avoid Advil type medications if you have risk factors for heart disease.