As the number one cause of death in the United States, heart disease is something that touches everyone. Take time to learn the risk factors of heart disease and what you can do to lower your risk. While there are some risk factors that cannot be changed, there are modifiable risk factors as well, meaning there are things you can change to lower your risk! The information below from the American Heart Association can help you identify your risk factors. Read our presentation on Early Heart Attack Care and the signs of heart attack.
Risk factors you can’t change
- Age – The majority of people who die of heart disease are 65 or older.
- Gender - While men are at a greater risk, more women die from heart disease.
- Heredity (including race) - If your parents had heart disease you are more likely to as well. According to the American Heart Association, “African Americans have more severe high blood pressure than Caucasians and a higher risk of heart disease. Heart disease risk is also higher among Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans. This is partly due to higher rates of obesity and diabetes.”
Risk factors you can modify, treat or control by changing your lifestyle or taking medication
- Tobacco smoke
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes mellitus
- Physical Inactivity
- Other factors that have been identified as contributing to heart disease are stress, alcohol, diet and nutrition.
Last updated 5/2016