A single risk factor may enough to cause heart disease, but combination of factors increases your risk. Some conditions as well as some lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk of heart disease. All we can take steps to lower their risk of heart disease by addressing these risk factors.
Non- modifiable risk factors (You can’t change it)
- Age : Men who are 45 or older & women who are 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than younger men & women.
- Sex: Men have greater risk of heart attack than women, & they have attacks earlier in life. Even after menopause, when women’s death rate from heart disease increases, it’s not as great as men’s.
- Family History: If your siblings, parents or grandparents have had heart attacks, you may be at increased risk.
- Race: Heart disease risk is higher among African American, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiins & some Asian American compared to caucasians.
Modifiable Risk factors: ( You can change it)
- High Blood Pressure: Overtime high blood pressure can damage arteries that feed our heart by accelerating atherosclerosis.
- High Blood Cholesterol or triglyceride levels: Cholesterol is a major part of the deposits that can narrow arteries throughout your body including those that supply your heart. A high level of bad cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of a heart attack. However a high level of good cholesterol (HDL) helps the body clean up excess cholesterol, is desirable & lowers your risk of heart attack.
- Diabetes: Having diabetes seriously increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. About three –quarters of people with Diabetes die from of heart or blood vessel disease.
- Obesity/ Overweight: Obese people have a high proportion of body fat ( a body mass index of 30 or higher). As its associated with high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure , diabetes its increases the risk of heart disease.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking increases our risk of developing b 2-4 times. Smoking & long term exposure to secondhand smoke damage the interior walls of arteries – including arteries to our heart – allowing deposits of cholesterol & other substance to collect slow blood flow. Smoking also increases the risk of deadly blood clots forming & causing a heart attack.
- Stress: Too much stress, as well as anger, can also raise our risk of heart disease.
- Sedentary Lifestyle/ Lack of Physical Activity: An inactive lifestyle contributes to high blood cholesterol levels & obesity.