5 Risk Factors for Heart Disease – April 6, 2021
February is American Heart Month, which is the perfect time to talk about the importance of heart health. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans, and at least half of American adults currently have one of the major risk factors for heart disease. There are some risk factors you cannot control, such as age, race, gender, and genetics, but the good news is that there are many you can do something about. Here are 5 risk factors for heart disease that you can change to lower your risk:
Most people think about lung cancer when they think about the negative effects of smoking. But smoking is actually one of the top risk factors for heart disease as well. Why? When you breathe, the air goes into your lungs, which then deliver oxygen-rich blood to your heart. When you breathe in smoke, the chemicals in the smoke go straight to your heart, damaging it and your blood vessels. It can also cause plaque to build up in your arteries, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even death. Quitting is the best way to mitigate the health risks that smoking causes. We understand how difficult that can be, however. Let us know if you need help to quit smoking and we can create a plan of action with you and support you.
2. Poor diet
Eating a lot of saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol is associated with heart disease. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which is another risk factor. A poor diet can also lead to obesity, which increases your chances of heart disease as well. Changing the way you eat is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. We have nutritionists on our team that can create a heart-healthy eating plan tailored for your specific needs, as well as classes to help you and your family learn about heart-healthy eating.
3. Lack of physical activity
Not getting enough exercise can lead to heart disease. It can also increase the chances of having other issues, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which all increase your risk. Regular exercise can lower your risk for heart disease. Check out this resource from the American Heart Association to learn about how much exercise you and your children should get, and ideas for what you can do.
4. Excessive drinking
Too much alcohol consumption can increase your blood pressure and triglycerides, which are a fatty substance in the blood. High blood pressure and high triglyceride levels can both put you at a much greater risk for heart disease. It is recommended that women have only one drink a day at most and that men have only two drinks a day at most.
5. High blood pressure
Almost one in three American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension. If not treated properly, it can be a very dangerous condition. But the good news is, with the right medications and lifestyle changes, high blood pressure can be managed, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Treatment for Heart Disease in Sacramento
At One Community Health, our highly trained doctors and nutritionists specialize in treating and preventing heart disease. We want to help you live a healthy and productive life by focusing on your unique needs, regardless of your ability to pay. We accept walk-ins, or you can make an appointment by calling 916-443-3299.