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Learn Your Risk Factors  


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Medical Conditions that influence your risk:

High blood pressure: High blood pressure increases the heart's workload, causing the heart to thicken and become stiffer. It also increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and congestive heart failure.
High cholesterol: Excess cholesterol can lead to a buildup in the walls of the arteries including those in the heart. This can narrow the arteries and decrease blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body. It is important to know your cholesterol levels so that you and your doctor can determine the best plan of action to lower your risk.
Diabetes: For adults who have diabetes, your risk of heart disease is two to four times higher than those who do not have diabetes. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your diabetes.

Behavioral Factors that influence your risk:

Unhealthy diet: The food you eat (and the amount) can affect other risk factors: cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and overweight. Choose a diet that emphasizes intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains; includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meats.
Physical Inactivity: An inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity helps prevent heart and blood vessel disease. Exercise can help control blood cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, as well as help lower blood pressure in some people.
Overweight and obese: Excess weight increases the heart's work. It raises blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and triglyceride (tri-GLIS'er-ide) levels. It also lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. By losing even as few as 10 to 20 pounds, you can lower the risk of heart disease.
Excess Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure, and lead to stroke. Women should have no more than 1 (one) drink daily and men should have no more than 2 (two) drinks daily **One drink is defined as 1-1/2 fluid ounces (fl oz) of 80-proof spirits (such as bourbon, Scotch, vodka, gin, etc.), 1 fl oz of 100-proof spirits, 4 fl oz of wine, or 12 fl oz of beer.
Tobacco Use: It is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. It is also important to avoid other people’s smoke as well. In the United States, each year about 34,000 adults die from heart and blood vessel disease caused by other people's smoke. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669 if you are ready to quit.
Stress: Some scientists have noted a relationship between coronary heart disease risk and stress in a person's life, their health behaviors and socioeconomic status. These factors may affect established risk factors. For example, people under stress may overeat, start smoking, or smoke and drink more than they otherwise would.


Other factors that influence your risk:

Age: Heart disease prevalence increases with a person’s increasing age. Majority of people that die of heart disease are 65 years old and older.
Gender: Heart disease is the number one killer in both men and women. In Ohio in 2012, men had a significantly higher prevalence of heart disease (9.7 percent) than women (6.5 percent). Men also have a greater risk for heart attacks than women do, although, more women die from heart attacks than men.
Heredity, Including Race: Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop it themselves. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For American Indians or Alaska Natives and Asians or Pacific Islanders, heart disease is second only to cancer.



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Last Updated: 3/7/2017