With heart disease being the No. 1 cause of death in the Mid-Ohio Valley, it???s important to understand if you could be at risk. If you are an average man, chances are you're at risk of suffering a heart attack. But women should be concerned, too. Often times heart disease gets overlooked in women. Even more disturbing is that 50 percent of heart attack victims die before reaching the hospital.
Here are the major risk factors you should consider:
- Increasing age ??? About 83% of people who die of coronary heart disease are 65 or older.
- Male sex (gender) ??? Men have a greater risk of heart attack than women, and they have attacks earlier in life.
- Heredity (including race) ??? Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves. African Americans have more severe high blood pressure than whites and a higher risk of heart disease. Heart disease is also higher among Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans.
- Tobacco smoke ??? Smokers??? risk of developing heart disease is two to four times that of nonsmokers'. Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die and die suddenly (within an hour) than nonsmokers.
- High blood cholesterol levels ??? The risk of coronary heart disease rises as blood cholesterol levels increase.
- High blood pressure ??? High blood pressure increases the heart???s workload, causing the heart to enlarge and weaken over time.
- Physical inactivity ??? An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity is important in preventing heart and blood vessel disease.
- Obesity and overweight ??? People who have excess body fat ??? especially if a lot of it is in the waist area ??? are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if they have no other risk factors.
- Diabetes mellitus ??? Diabetes seriously increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Heart Healthy Quizzes