Risk Factors For Heart Disease

by : verlyn

This article is written to identify the risk factors for heart disease. If one does not understand what the risk factors are, it is difficult to avoid them. I hope that it is very beneficial to you.

Coronary heart disease is to blame for approximately 1.2 million heart attacks that take place in the United States every year. Of these 1.2 million people, more than 40 percent of them will fall victim to a heart attack that will be fatal. But the numbers get even scarier from there. An estimated 335,000 individuals who suffer heart attacks will die en-route to the hospital or else will not leave the emergency room alive. The American Heart Association estimates that in the United States, 7 million people will suffer a heart attack at some point in their lives.

Heart disease is very prevalent and is becoming more and more so in society. Very often heart disease is known as the silent killer because it shows no obvious symptoms and it sneaks up on a person completely unannounced. It is critically important to become educated about the factors that make one person more susceptible to developing this disease over another. The risk factors can be broken down into those that are controllable and those that are not. Lets take a look at both.

As far as risk factors that cannot be controlled, men are more likely to suffer heart attacks than are women and the risk of heart disease increases with age. For example a 50 or 60-year-old man is more likely to become afflicted than is a 30 or 35-year-old man. This is not to say however than women never suffer from heart disease but it is less widespread in women. When women do suffer from it, it is usually women who are past menopause.

Those with a family history of heart attacks and heart conditions are more likely to suffer from it, as there is a genetic connection that has been borne out by research. Certain races of people are more likely to be afflicted than others. For example, Caucasians are less likely to suffer from this disease than are African Americans, African Indians and finally, Mexican Americans.

But there is some good news as there are factors related to heart disease that are within a persons control. Cholesterol rates can be influenced by the foods you consume and how much exercise you get on a regular basis. What is known as bad cholesterol is a high level of LDL and good cholesterol is known as HDL. You must aim to keep your HDL as high as possible and your LDL as low as possible. Smoking is another controllable risk factor involved with heart disease. If you smoke, try to kick the habit and if you do not smoke, then good for you, never start.

A complete or partial lack of exercise can increase your chance of developing heart disease. Aim for at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity every day or at least every second day for starters. Obesity can play a role in heart disease and be aware that you are considered to be obese if you are more than an estimated 20% over what is deemed your ideal weight. Another controllable risk factor is anger and stress that has been allowed to build up over an extended period of time. Seek out ways to improve your coping mechanisms.