You Want to Prevent Heart Disease You Want to Prevent Heart Disease
National Institute of Health
Risk factors are conditions that increase your risk for developing heart disease. Some risk factors can be changed and others cannot. In general, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing heart disease. Fortunately, there are things you can do to address most of the risk factors for heart disease.
The risk factors that you cannot control include:
Age (45 years or older for men; 55 years or older for women)
Family history of early heart disease (father or brother affected before age 55; mother or sister affected before age 65)
The known risk factors for heart disease that you can do something about include:
High blood cholesterol (high total cholesterol and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol)
Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
High blood pressure
Diabetes — if you have diabetes, your risk for developing heart disease is high, as high as a heart disease patient’s risk for having a heart attack. You will need to lower your cholesterol under medical supervision, in much the same way as a heart disease patient, in order to reduce your high risk of getting heart disease.
If you have not had your cholesterol level checked, talk to your doctor about getting it checked.