Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. Fortunately, many of the risk factors for heart disease can be controlled, so you can dramatically reduce your chances of developing it and experiencing the associated complications, like heart disease and stroke. Here is a look at some of the top risk factors for heart disease. Consider discussing your personal risks and the steps you can take to control them with your physician.
As explained in the video, smoking is one of the most disastrous things you can do for your heart health. People who smoke may have as much as four times greater risk of getting heart disease than people who don’t. Smoking also increases your risk of other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure.
If you are currently a smoker, quitting can be difficult. Fortunately, your physician can offer advice that can help, from medications that can curb cravings to support groups for people who are trying to quit.
High blood pressure
When you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder than normal, which can cause the muscles in your heart to weaken and become thickened. It also weakens your blood vessels by putting intense pressure on them, which can make them leak or rupture.
High blood pressure also increases the risk of blood clots from forming. These blood clots can impact your heart and can also travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
As with high blood pressure, obesity increases your heart’s workload, causing damage that can lead to heart disease. People who have excess weight around their midsections are particularly at risk of developing heart disease.
Obesity also increases the risk of other heart disease risk factors, including high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
By taking steps to control your risk factors, you can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease. At Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas, our cardiovascular team is committed to helping patients achieve healthy hearts, from emergency care for heart attack symptoms to procedures in our cath lab. For a referral to a physician, call (702) 916-5023.