What are my risks for getting heart disease?

Updated:May 3,2016
What are my risks for getting heart disease?

Ask yourself these three questions.

1.  How many risk factors do I have?

Major Risk Factors - Are those that research has shown significantly increase the risk of heart disease. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing it.
  • Non-Modifiable – These are risk factors that cannot be changed.
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Family history
    • Modifiable - Any person can make changes to these risk factors, even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference.
    • High blood cholesterol
    • High blood pressure
    • Physical inactivity
    • Obesity and overweight
    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Poor diet
2.  Do I know Life’s Simple 7 keys to prevention?
  1. Reduce blood sugar – About 21 million Americans have diagnosed diabetes. That’s almost 9% of the adult population.
  2. Eat right - When you eat a heart-healthy diet you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy!
  3. Control cholesterol - Nearly 1 of every 3 Americans has high levels of LDL cholesterol the “bad” kind).
  4. Lose weight - Most Americans older than 20 are overweight or obese. About 32% children are overweight or obese.
  5. Manage blood pressure - About 80 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure. That’s about 33%.
  6. Get moving - About one in every three U.S. adults – 30% – reports participating in no leisure time physical activity.
  7. Stop smoking - 6% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 report being current smokers. Among adults, 19% of men and 15% of women are smokers.

3.  Am I making an effort or making excuses?

Top “barriers” to healthy living according to a recent survey of visitors to heat.org:

27% - I live a heart-healthy lifestyle. Great job! Learn more about preventing heart disease at any age: heart.org/atanyage
18% - I don’t want to stop eating foods I like. Then DON’T! Just find healthy ways to prepare them here: heart.org/recipes
17% - I don’t have time to exercise regularly. Don’t worry, 10 minutes, 3 times a day is all it takes. heart.org/take10
14% - I don’t like exercising. Keep trying! Here are our top 5 tips to loving exercise ... or at least not hating it: heart.org/lovingactivity
14% - It costs too much to eat healthy. Think again! Try our tips to save you money and time: heart.org/healthytips
12% - I’m too busy taking care of others to take care of myself. To do the best for our loved ones, we must make an effort to be in the best possible health ourselves. heart.org/caringforyourself
7% - I don’t really know how to take care of my heart. You’re in luck! We have all the heart-health information you need. heart.org/healthyliving
START HERE: heart.og/makinganeffort 

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