Coronary artery disease causes roughly 1.2 million heart attacks each year and more than 40% of those suffering from a heart attack will die. According to the American Heart Association, over 7 million Americans have suffered a heart attack in their lifetime.
What are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?
- Male Sex, older age, family history of heart disease, smoking, uncontrolled high blood pressure, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, etc.
- Quit smoking. Smokers have more than 2x the risk for heart attack as nonsmokers
- Better control of blood pressure and blood sugar levels. 60 million Americans have hypertension, making it the most common heart disease risk factor. If not properly controlled, diabetes can contribute to significant heart damage, including heart attacks and death.
- Get active and eat right. People who don’t exercise have higher rates of death and heart disease compared to people who perform even mild to moderate amounts of physical activity. Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and refined sugars.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts significant strain on your heart and worsens several other heart disease risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Manage stress. Poorly controlled stress and anger can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Learn to manage stress by practicing relaxation techniques, learning how to manage your time, setting realistic goals, and trying some new techniques such as guided imagery, massage, Tai Chi or yoga.
What Can I Do to Lower My Risk of Heart Disease?