Who is likely to develop heart disease?
Everyone is at risk for developing heart disease. The American Heart Association has identified several risk factors. Some can be modified, treated or controlled — and some cannot.
Children of parents with heart disease, African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk for developing heart disease. Smoking, smoke exposure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, and diabetes also contribute.
According to the American Heart Association, most people with a strong family history of heart disease have one or more other risk factors. Yet a fair amount of people affected by cardiac problems have no risk factors or are not aware that they have risk factors.
Everyone should talk to their doctor about ways to preserve cardiac health.
Are men at higher risk for developing cardiac problems?
Although about one in five men will die from heart disease before age 75, there are many risk factors men can control, such as:
- Controlling blood pressure
- Controlling blood cholesterol
- Managing a healthy weight
- Exercising regularly
- Quitting smoking
- Managing stress
How are women affected by cardiac problems?
It’s a myth that heart disease is just a "man's disease." In fact, coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, is the leading cause of death for American women. Unfortunately, women are generally not aware of this danger. As with male patients, recommended heart health changes include:
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Reducing high blood cholesterol
- Weight loss
- Smoking cessation
- Stress management
How can I prevent cardiac problems?
Regular exercise, smoking cessation, weight management, and efforts to control high blood pressure and diabetes go a long way to help prevent heart problems.
Additionally, being aware of your family history and your individual risk factors can help you make better choices and receive proper treatment.
Talk to your doctor about finding the best prevention plan for you.
Can patients who have suffered cardiovascular complications resume normal living?
Current cardiac diagnostic and treatment options offer more alternatives than ever before.
Additionally, cardiac rehabilitation, which includes risk identification, exercise and nutrition support, among other things, plays a major role in helping cardiac patients maintain their health.