10 Factors That Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease

by Jodee on March 28, 2009

There are a number of risk factors that have exist for heart disease. The more of them that apply to you, the more likely it is that you will have some type of cardiovascular problem at some point in your life. Here are 10 factors that you need to aware of:

1. Family History

If your parents or siblings have been diagnosed with heart disease or had a heart attack, then you are more likely to have the same kinds of health issues. Your risk also goes up if an aunt or uncle has a similar history. Blame it on your genes, and be sure to let your doctor know.

2. Smoking

Using tobacco products is another factor that increases your risk of heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Your doctor also needs to know if you ever smoked, and if so, how many cigarettes you smoked per day and how long it has been since you quit.

3. Being Overweight or Obese

Carrying around extra pounds means that your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your organs. It also can lead to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and higher triglycerides.

4. Lack of Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of heart disease. To lower your risk, you need to get of the couch and participate in an activity that is going to increase your heart rate for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. You can start by taking a brisk walk and slowly increasing your level of activity.

5. Poor Eating Habits

To keep your heart healthy, load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein. You will want to avoid foods that are high in fat and salt, which includes a lot of processed foods.

6. Depression

Research has shown that people who are depressed are more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease. This may be because someone who is in the midst of a depressive episode is less likely to eat well, exercise, or get enough rest.

7. Lack of Religious Faith

Some people may scoff at the idea of going to church to stave off heart disease, but having some type of spiritual belief can help to eliminate stress and worry. People who are under a lot of stress are at increased risk of heart disease.

8. Diabetes

There is a definite link between diabetes and several health issues, including heart disease. Unfortunately, many people who have diabetes are not diagnosed right away, which only adds to the risk of vascular problems.

9. Sexual Performance Difficulties

When men have erectile difficulty, it can be distressing to them and their partner. It also may be sign of heart disease. This is not something that should be ignored. Rather than attribute this symptom to getting older or stress, it is something that you should discuss with your doctor.

10. Race

People who are African-American, South Asian, Chinese or Aboriginal are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Like your family history, you can’t do anything about it, but you can be aware of this fact and take steps to live a healthy lifestyle to keep your heart healthy.


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