What are the risk factors for heart disease? How to prevent heart disease?
What is Heart disease?
Diseases that make changes in heart function are known as heart disease. In United States, Heart disease is one of the leading cause of death. This is a major cause of disability. There are many factors that can cause disease in heart. They are called heart disease risk factors. Some of them we cannot control, but you can control many. It is necessary to have a clear knowledge of these.
What are the risk factors for heart disease that we cannot change?
The risk of heart disease increases with age. Men 45 and older and women 55 and older are at higher risk.
Certain factors may affect the risk of heart disease differently for women than for men. For example, diabetes increases the risk of heart disease in women than in men but estrogen provides some protection against heart disease in women.
Some groups have higher risks than others. African Americans are more likely to have heart disease than whites, while Hispanic Americans are less likely. Some Asian groups, such as South Asians, have higher rates, while East Asians have lower rates.
If you have a close family member who had heart disease, you are more likely to be affected by heart disease.
What can we do to reduce our risk factors for heart disease?
Abstinence from alcohol:
The main reason for the increase in blood pressure is alcohol consumption. High blood pressure increases the body’s calories and body weight. These increase the risk getting disease. Men can drink up to two drinks a day and women should not drink more than one.
Cigarette smoking is another cause of high blood pressure. It is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. If you do not like smoking, it is better not to start it. If you smoke, avoiding it reduces your risk. In consultation with health professionals, you can find a quick solution to smoking.
Exercise strengthens your heart and improves circulation. It also helps maintain a healthy weight, low cholesterol and blood pressure. Proper exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Control blood pressure:
For heart disease, high BP is a major risk factor. It is important to check your BP level regularly. Adults need to be tested at least once a year. And if you have high blood pressure, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent or control it.
Control Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels:
Excess fat can clog the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and coronary artery blockade. Lifestyle changes and medications if needed can also lower your cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of cholesterol in the blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, mostly in women.
Severe stress can raise your blood pressure. Some ways to help manage your stress include exercise, focusing on quiet matter, listening to music and meditating.
Diabetes doubles the risk for heart disease. This is because, over time, high blood sugar caused by diabetes can damage the blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, it is important to get tested regularly for diabetes, and it is important to keep your blood sugar levels under control if you have the disease.
Get enough sleep:
If you do not get enough sleep, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes can occur. All three increase the risk for getting disease. It is important that they regulate their sleep. If you have frequent sleep problems, contact your doctor. If you have sleep apnea, it is important to seek appropriate treatment.
Stay at a healthy weight:
Obesity increases the risk of heart disease. This is because it is often linked to other heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels and diabetes. Weight control will reduce these risks.
Eat a healthy diet:
Try to control foods that are high in sodium, saturated fats and added sugars. Try to take lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
An aspiring medical student from southern India