Here is a summary of “Risk Factors for Heart Disease” from the American Heart Association:
* Diabetes Mellitus – At least 65% of people with diabetes mellitus die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease. Let Allegro help manage your diabetes with low cost Diabetes Supplies.
* High Blood Cholesterol and Other Lipids – High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol levels of less than 40mg/dL are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. Determine your cholesterol quickly and easily with a Home Cholesterol Test Kit.
* High Blood Pressure – About 69% of people who have a first heart attack, 77% who have a first stroke and 74% who have Congestive Heart Failure have blood pressure higher than 140/90 mm Hg. Do you know your blood pressure? Take it anytime, anywhere with your own blood pressure monitor.
* Metabolic Syndrome – Defined as having three or more of the following abnormalities:
- Waist circumference greater than 102 cm (40 inches) in men and 88 cm (35 inches) in women.
- Triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL or higher.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level less than 40 mg/dL in men and 50 mg/dL in women.
- Blood pressure of 130/85 mm Hg or higher or drug treatment for hypertension.
- Fasting plasma glucose level of 100 mg/dL or higher.
Men and women with the MetS were approximately 1.5 and 2 times more likely to develop CHD. Among the components of MetS, elevated blood cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol exhibited the strongest associations with CHD. Similar associations were found between the MetS and incident ischemic stroke.
* Overweight and Obesity – You are considered overweight if your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 25 and higher. You are considered obese if your BMI is 30 and higher. Get weight loss help!
* Physical Inactivity – The relative risk of coronary heart disease associated with physical inactivity ranges from 1.5 to 2.4, an increase in risk comparable to that for high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or cigarette smoking. Get your heart pumping with these popular exercise/fitness products.
* Tobacco – a whole lot of bad news for smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke:
- From 1997-2001, an estimated 438,000 Americans died each year of smoking-related illnesses; 34.7 percent of these deaths were cardiovascular-related.
- An estimated 35,052 nonsmokers die from coronary heart disease (CHD) each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
- One-third of those who receive percutaneous coronary artery vascularization are current smokers, and 50-60 percent continue to smoke after the procedure.
- Cigarette smoking remains a major cause of stroke in the United States. The evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and subclinical atherosclerosis.
- There’s hope yet: The 2004 Health Consequences of Smoking Report of the Surgeon General states that the risk of stroke decreases steadily after you quit smoking. Former smokers have the same risk as nonsmokers after five to 15 years.
- A study of women below age 44 found there was a strong dose-relationship for MI, with a risk of 2.5 for those smoking one to five cigarettes per day, rising to 74.6 for those smoking more than 40 cigarettes per day, compared with nonsmokers. – Another study on female smokers found the highest risk (6.8) for MI was in women younger than 55 years of age.
If you are at risk for heart disease or stroke, know that there are ways to manage these risk factors. Please talk to you doctor about your concerns.