Heart Disease, which affects 13 million Americans, is the number one killer of Americans and contributes significantly to disability. These numbers may be even higher because more unrecognized heart disease. Minimizing risk factors is an essential part of reducing the risk of death and disability.
Several factors increase the risk of developing heart disease. Some risk factors are modifiable – or ones that you can change – some are not.
A positive family history includes having a first degree relative with heart disease. A first-degree relative is a parent, sibling or child. It is considered a very strong element of risk if a family member had disease onset before age 50
Gender is another feature of risk for heart disease. Males have a higher risk of heart disease at a younger age. Men and women are equally at risk for heart disease at age 70 and beyond.
Age is the last non-modifiable risk factor. The oldest is the more he or she is at risk for heart disease.
Modifiable risk factors are traits can change to reduce the risk of heart disease. These are the most important risk factors to understand how control of these risk factors will reduce the risk of heart disease.Cholesterol:
Three subtypes of cholesterol are reported on a lipid panel. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg / dl. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is harmful particle. This is what can lead to the benefit of descent – the lowest LDL better. The latest guidelines recommend if you have heart disease or are at high risk of heart disease as values must be less than 100 mg / dl and high risk patients should have values less than 70 mg / mr.
-high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is considered good. HDL cholesterol LDL cholesterol take away from the ship which do the most damage. The minimum number to be reached is 50 mg / dl – the bigger the better.
When evaluating cholesterol, it is important to look at LDL and HDL cholesterol to determine the risk of disease. Total cholesterol does not correlate with heart disease and cholesterol components.
Triglycerides are another number reported lipid panel. The role of triglycerides is less clear in the development of heart disease. It is recommended that people strive to achieve triglyceride levels less than 150 mg / dl.
Diabetes: Having diabetes puts you at risk for heart disease. Diabetes is a condition in which high levels of blood sugar are. Blood sugar is high because the body is unable to use insulin or does not create enough insulin. Both high levels of blood sugar and insulin levels can damage blood vessels in the body, contributing to the development of heart disease.
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Hypertension: High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease. Optimal targets include reducing blood pressure to less than 120/80 mm Hg. Increased systolic (top number), which is more common among the elderly population is correlated with heart disease more than the increase in diastolic blood pressure (bottom number).
Physical inactivity: Lack of exercise is a clear risk for heart disease. Exercise can affect a variety of other risk factors. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure, increases HDL cholesterol and reduces insulin resistance (a characteristic associated with diabetes).
Smoking: Smoking is a strong risk characteristic for heart disease. Toxins in cigarette smoke have been shown to damage the vessel wall and plaque formation may precipitate. Smoking just one cigarette per day significantly increased risk of heart attack on a non-smoker.
Stress: Chronic daily stress increases the risk of heart disease.
Abdominal obesity: Waist circumference greater than 32 inches in women and 34 inches in men is a preacher of heart attack. Weight gain adversely affects many other risk factors for heart disease. The direct effect of obesity on the risk of heart disease is a matter of debate, but weight gain increases the risk of insulin resistance, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol.
Eating some fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have antioxidants and fiber, which are protective against heart disease.
Drinking too much alcohol: It is believed that drinking one drink per day for women and two per day for men reduces the risk of heart disease. Drinking more than this amount has the potential to not only increase the risk of heart disease, but also many other diseases.
High levels of homocysteine in the blood: This is a relatively new risk factor. High levels of this chemical were shown to increase the risk of vascular events. These levels can be reduced with the addition of folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12. Homocysteine levels are higher in patients with cardiovascular disease and damage the vascular wall more susceptible to develop the plate.
Inflammation: Another relatively new risk factor, a high level of inflammation may increase the risk of heart disease. A common test is run to detect this is the high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).
Fox 13 Big Budah joins Brandon King, RN, at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute to learn how height, weight and body fat may be risk factors. . .
Category: Healthcare Basics