What are Risk Factors
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. Important risk factors for heart disease that you can do something about are:
- cigarette smoking
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- physical inactivity
Research shows that more than 95 percent of those who die from heart disease have at least one of these major risk factors. Some risk factors, such as age and family history of early heart disease, can’t be changed. For women, age becomes a risk factor at 55. Women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease. Another reason for the increasing risk is that middle age is a time when women tend to develop other risk factors for heart disease.
Family history of early heart disease is another risk factor that can’t be changed. If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, or if your mother or sister had one before age 65, you are more likely to get heart disease yourself.
Regardless of your age, background, or health status, you can lower your risk of heart disease—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Protecting your heart can be as simple as taking a br.isk walk, whipping up a good vegetable soup, or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
Take the steps necessary today to start living each day a little healthier than before, take it one moment at a time.