Taking Control of Your Heart Disease Risk
We all have our numbers – like cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight and blood sugar. But did you know that those numbers can tell an important story about your risk for heart disease? It’s true.
Heart disease is any disorder of the heart muscle, values, rhythm, or blood flow to the heart. Today in the U.S., heart disease is the number-one cause of death among men and women, so knowing your numbers is an important part of your story. It’s also the first step to reducing your risk of heart disease.
There are two types of risk factors – things you can control and things you can’t.
The things you can control are blood pressure, blood sugar, your weight, cholesterol levels and smoking. Getting these under control reduces your risk of heart disease.
The things you can’t control are your genes, if you have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. That puts you at a greater risk.
Just 30 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week can reduce your risk by 30%. Exercise reduces your blood pressure and blood sugar. It helps control your weight and lowers your cholesterol levels. Fact is, lifestyle changes like getting active, eating healthy, and quitting smoking can reduce your risk up to 60%. And that’s without medication.
We all have our numbers. Knowing yours and getting them under control can help the story of your heart be a long and happy one for you and your family.
Dr. Carter is an MPCP partner and is certified by the American Board of Family Physicians. She sees patients at the Arundel Mills office.
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