Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is a leading cause of death worldwide. It refers to a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Fortunately, preventive cardiology Upper East Side can help lower your chances of getting heart disease.
There are risk factors that can increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, and understanding them may help you take the right measures to lower them. Here are seven of the most significant risk factors for heart disease;
- High blood pressure
A significant risk factor for heart disease is having high blood pressure, or hypertension. When your blood pressure is too high, it strains your heart and blood vessels, leading to damage over time. High blood pressure can be caused by various factors, including unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as a diet high in salt and fat and genetics.
- High cholesterol
Too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in your arteries and form plaque, which can narrow and block the blood vessels. This can raise your risk of stroke and heart attack. High cholesterol can be caused by a diet high in saturated and trans fats and genetics.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, as high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and lead to the hardening of the arteries. Managing diabetes through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and medications, if needed, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Long-term stress can negatively affect your heart health. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can increase your blood pressure and heart rate. Over time, this can increase your risk of heart disease. Finding healthy ways to manage stress is important, such as exercising, meditation, or talking to a therapist.
- Lack of physical activity
Maintaining a healthy heart requires regular physical activity. Lack of physical activity can increase your risk of heart disease by contributing to the development of other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. Aim for 75 minutes of intense exercise or at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week.
Obesity or being overweight might raise your chance of developing heart disease. Excess weight puts extra strain on your heart and can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is important to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Smoking can increase your odds of getting heart disease. The chemicals in cigarette smoke can damage your blood vessels and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition, smoking can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Understanding the risk factors for heart disease can help you take steps to protect your heart health and reduce the chances of developing this serious condition. This may include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking medications as prescribed.
Call Upper East Side Cardiology to book your appointment to learn more about heart disease risk factors.