Cardiovascular disease is a type of heart disease that puts you at risk for cardiac arrest or a heart attack. It is a highly dangerous disease that if not treated properly, can put your health and life at risk.
While some risk factors cannot be helped and are due to genetics or age, some are based on your lifestyle choices. According to the World Heart Federation, poor nutrition is one of the biggest preventable risks of heart disease. Here are the some important risk factors to be aware of.
Risk Factors You Can’t Change
The first category of risk factors for this type of disease are those that you cannot necessarily change. They have to do with genetics and what you were born with. For example, if someone in your family has a cardiovascular condition, you are more likely to have one as well.
Age is another risk factor that you cannot change. You are also at a higher risk for cardiac disease when are over the age of 55, and have a higher chance of a heart attack or stroke when you are older as well.
Your gender also plays a role in how likely you are to get heart disease. It is a much higher risk in men, especially when looking at your age when you get it. A younger man is more likely to have a cardiovascular condition than a pre-menopausal woman, for example. Ethnicity also plays a part, with Asian and African ethnicities tending to have a higher risk than other ethnic groups.
Lifestyle Risk Factors
There are also risk factors that can be controlled or modified, depending on the lifestyle you choose to live. Lifestyle risk factors include:
- unhealthy eating habits
- sedentary lifestyle
- unmanaged emotional stress
- being obese
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that consuming excess alcohol can increase blood pressure and triglycerides, raising the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis, respectively.
Your cardiac specialist will be happy to help you with reduce these risk factors.
How to Reduce Your Risks
The key to reducing your risks for cardiovascular conditions is to examine the risk factors you can change. Changing your diet, quitting smoking, losing weight if overweight or obese, and participating in regular exercise can all make a drastic change in your risk factors.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, avoiding a high amount of saturated fat. Control conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and start looking for ways to improve your stress levels.
Lastly, visit your cardiologist at your Arizona cardiovascular treatment center if you meet any of these risk factors for cardiovascular disease.