Reducing Your Risk
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are among the top risk factors for developing heart disease. Diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol use are other conditions and lifestyle habits that increase the risk of developing heart disease.
Both men and women can have high blood pressure. Other factors that increase risk are:
- Age. Blood pressure can rise as you get older.
- Gender. Women are more likely to develop high blood pressure than men.
- Race or ethnicity. Different races and ethnicities experience higher rates of high blood pressure than others.
The good news is that heart disease can be largely prevented through lifestyle choices. Here are some ways to reduce your risk:
- Keep blood pressure and cholesterol in check. A normal blood pressure reading is below 120/80. Have your blood pressure checked often.
- Get screened for diabetes.
- Limit or avoid alcohol consumption.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco or tobacco products.
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days.
- Eat a healthful diet of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains.
- Lower and manage stress levels.