There are many factors that go it someone’s risk of heart disease. Some of these are well known, such as smoking, which significantly increases someone’s risk of heart disease. Age, for example, is also a well-known factor. The older you are, the higher your risks.
As such, there are some things you can do to maintain heart health and some things that are beyond your control. Here’s a list reviewing these factors.
Things You Cannot Control
Your age is out of your hands. The older you are, the greater your risks. Statistically, men over 45 and women over 55 years of age are in higher-risk pools.
Gender is another factor in heart disease, as noted already in the previous category (age). However, there are gender differences in other sub-categories. Women are better protected from heart disease due to the estrogen hormone, but women with diabetes are at a higher risk than men with diabetes.
There are differences between races and the prevalence of heart disease. African Americans are in the highest risk pool, followed by whites, followed by Hispanics. Asians have a variety of risk levels, depending on their location.
You can’t do much about your family history. Heart disease runs in some families.
Things You Can Change
You cannot control your blood pressure completely, but maintaining a healthy blood pressure does pivot on a healthy diet, exercise, staying away from smoking, and other factors. Stress can affect blood pressure, as well, as can depression. Get your blood pressure frequently checked, if it runs to the high side, ask your physician about lifestyle changes and medications you could take.
Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked regularly and discuss with your physician lifestyle changes and dietary changes you can make to improve these levels. High levels of cholesterol can clog your arteries, making it difficult for your heart muscle to function properly. High triglyceride levels – another type of fat – can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Stopping smoking – or never starting – is one of the most important steps you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Maintain a Healthy Weight and A Healthy Diet
Being overweight forces your heart to work harder to keep the blood circulating properly. The heart can only last so long before they wear down. A healthy weight is another critical factor in your risks of heart disease.
High levels of stress increase your blood pressure and your risks for heart disease. Seek ways to reduce stress in your life, raise your enjoyment and optimism levels, and avoid depression. If lifestyle changes are not sufficient, various medications can help reduce anxiety levels.
Diabetes affects your blood sugar levels, and high blood sugar levels cause deterioration of blood vessels and the nervous system. Controlling blood sugar is an important part of maintaining heart health.
Control Alcohol Consumption
Like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption raises your level of risk for heart disease. Alcohol enters the bloodstream, where it reaches virtually every organ in your body from your stomach to your liver, kidneys, brain, and bladder. Excessive alcohol consumption is also dangerous for your heart.
Get A Check-Up
Are you ready for a heart health check-up? In San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 to schedule an appointment.