Heart disease describes a variety of disorders and conditions that can affect the heart. While heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men, it can be prevented. You can lower your risk of heart disease by managing or reducing your risk factors and by making healthy lifestyle changes. The more knowledge you have about your family’s medical history, the better prepared you’ll be to prevent heart disease.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
There are multiple risk factors for heart disease; some you can control, and others you can’t.
Uncontrollable risk factors include:
- Age (your risk increases the older you get)
- Family history (if you have a male relative with heart disease before the age of 55 or a female relative with heart disease before the age of 65, you may have an increased risk)
- Race (African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and South Asian Americans have an increased risk of heart disease)
Controllable Risk Factors
Risk factors you can work on to prevent heart disease include:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure (Hypertension)
- Physical inactivity
- Poor nutrition
To learn more about heart disease and Ohio State’s expertise visit: http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/heart/prevention/pages/prevention.aspx