Know Your Numbers - Heart Disease Risk Factors
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease kills more Americans than any other disease. One of the keys to beating heart disease is prevention—and the first step is to know if you are at risk.
As part of your effort to prevent heart disease, you should keep track of the numbers that contribute to your risk of heart disease, including blood pressure, body fat index and cholesterol levels. Knowing your risk factors—and how these numbers contribute to them—are important to avoiding heart disease.
Here are some other numbers that Grand View Hospital recommends you consider:
- Do you have high blood pressure? One in three adults has high blood pressure.
- Do you have high cholesterol? A person with high cholesterol has more than twice the risk of heart disease.
- Do you smoke? Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease.
- Do you have diabetes? People with diabetes are five times more likely to die of heart disease.
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you have an increased risk of heart disease and should talk to your doctor.
These numbers, and their link to heart disease, might surprise you. But what is even more important is that if you have more than one of these risk factors, your chance of getting heart disease multiplies. In fact, having three or more risk factors can increase your chances of getting heart disease by more than 10 times.
Never Too Late to Reduce Your Risk
Fortunately, you can take action to reduce your risk of heart disease. In most cases, altering risk factors can significantly reduce your risk.
The first step is to know your numbers. If you don't know your risk factor levels, ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. Once you have the results, you can work with your doctor to come up with a plan to lower your risk.
For information regarding Grand View Hospital's Heart Care Program, please call 215-453-4304.