Heart disease is the a cause of death and also a significant contributor to disability. There are a variety of factors that might increase your risk of heart disease. They’re known as risk factors. You can’t control some of them, but you can control a lot of them. Learning about them can help you reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
What are the risk factors for heart disease that I can’t change?
- Age. As you become older, your chances of developing heart disease rise. Men and women over the age of 45 and 55 are at a higher risk.
- Sex. Some risk factors may impact women’s risk of heart disease differently than men’s. For example, estrogen protects women from heart disease, but diabetes increases the risk of heart disease in women more than it does in males.
- Ethnicity or race. Some people are at a larger risk than others. Heart disease is more common in African Americans than in whites, whereas it is less common in Hispanic Americans. East Asians, for example, have lower rates than other Asian ethnicities. South Asians, on the other hand, have greater rates.
- History of the family. If you have a close relative who developed heart disease at a young age, you are at a higher risk.
What can I do to reduce my chances of developing heart disease?
Fortunately, there are a number of things you may do to lower your risk of heart disease:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure level. Heart disease is caused by high blood pressure, which is a key risk factor. It’s critical to have your blood pressure tested on a regular basis – at least once a year for most individuals, and much more frequently if you have high blood pressure. Take efforts to avoid or control high blood pressure, including making lifestyle changes.
- Maintain a healthy cholesterol and triglyceride level. Cholesterol levels that are too high can block arteries, increasing your risk of coronary artery disease and heart stroke. Cholesterol can be reduced by a combination of lifestyle modifications and medications (if necessary). Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in the bloodstream. High triglyceride levels can also increase the risk of coronary heart disease, particularly in women.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity or being overweight might raise your risk of heart disease. This is mostly due to their association with other heart disease risk factors such as high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These dangers can be reduced if you maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a balanced diet. Limit saturated fats, high-sodium meals, and added sweets. Consume a variety of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. The DASH diet is an example of an eating plan that can help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, two factors that can reduce your heart disease risk.
- Get some exercise on a regular basis. Exercise offers several advantages, including strengthening the heart and increasing circulation. It can also aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight as well as the reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure. All of these things can help you avoid heart disease.
- Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Too much alcohol might cause your blood pressure to rise. It also adds more calories, perhaps leading to weight gain. Both of these factors increase your chances of developing heart disease. Men should limit themselves to two alcoholic drinks each day, while women should limit themselves to one.
- Please don’t smoke. Cigarette smoking raises blood pressure and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Don’t start smoking if you don’t already. If you smoke, stopping reduces your chances of developing heart disease. You can get assistance from your health care practitioner in determining the best method for you to quit.
- Take care of your stress. In many ways, stress is linked to heart disease. It has the potential to increase your blood pressure. A heart attack can be triggered by extreme stress. Furthermore, several popular stress-relieving behaviors, such as overeating, heavy drinking, and smoking, are harmful to your heart. Exercising, listening to music, focusing on something quiet or serene, and meditating are all good methods to handle stress.
- Take care of your diabetes. Diabetic heart disease is two times more likely if you have diabetes. Diabetes causes high blood sugar, which damages your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels over time. As a result, it’s critical to get tested for diabetes and, if you already have it,keep it under control.
- Make certain you get adequate rest. You increase your chances of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes if you don’t get enough sleep. These three factors might increase your chances of developing heart disease. The average adult need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, make an appointment with your doctor. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to cease breathing for small periods of time while sleeping. This makes it difficult to obtain a decent night’s sleep and increases your risk of heart disease. If you suspect you have it, speak with your doctor about getting a sleep study. Also, if you do have sleep apnea, make sure you get it treated.