Wellness Matters

Is Your Family Giving You Heart Disease?

February 02, 2015

There are many risk factors known to cause coronary heart disease (CHD), including family history.

Individuals whose mothers, fathers or siblings developed CHD before the age of 60 are two to three times more likely to get heart disease.

Your risk is higher if you have immediate family members such as two or more uncles, aunts or grandparents, who developed CHD after age 60.

Are these my only risk factors?
Other risk factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a history of stroke, smoking and being overweight.

How can I lower my risk?

  • Eat healthy meals. Eating a heart-healthy diet can help you control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being active and eating healthy foods can help you stay at a healthy weight or lose weight if  you need to.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise can boosts your heart health. It can improve cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Stop smoking. Smokers are up to six times more likely to suffer with heart disease.
  • Have your doctor check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly. High blood pressure and too much cholesterol in your blood greatly increases your risk for heart disease. Reduce your sodium intake, stay active and maintain a healthy weight to control your blood pressure. Learn your total cholesterol, both good (HDL) and bad (LDL), and triglycerides.
Also, collect your family's health history and share it with your doctor. Your family's history could change the type of treatment your doctor gives if you begin to have symptoms of a heart attack.

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