Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Feb 2 • 2015

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States? Once you get diagnosed with this, it is a lifelong condition. If you don’t make changes in your daily habits, the condition of your blood vessels will continue to get worse. It is important to be proactive and do everything you can do to prevent and control it.

There are many risk factors associated with heart disease. Some of these are uncontrollable, like family history of early heart disease or history of preeclampsia during pregnancy. Age becomes an especially large risk factor for women after the age of 55 because the production of estrogen drops after menopause. However, there are conditions and habits that are controllable.

The following risk factors make a person more likely to develop heart disease:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes or prediabetes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity and physical inactivity
  • An unhealthy diet

Even if you only have one of these risk factors, making changes to your lifestyle is extremely important. Additionally, develop a relationship with your doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask him questions and be proactive in finding out what you can do to lower your risk. Answer any questions the doctor poses honestly and accurately so the most appropriate steps can be taken. If you’re already being treated for heart disease, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to review treatment and make any necessary changes.

Find out more about the symptoms, risk factors, and heart screening tests in our Frequently Asked Questions page.