Know Your Risks of Heart Disease and Stroke

From the Doctor’s Blog Feb 25, 2016

What are the Risk Factors of Heart Disease?

According to Million Hearts®, approximately 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year in the United States. It is estimated, one in four women and one in five men will die within the first year.  There are many risk factors that can be controlled from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to smoking and obesity.

Heart Disease Facts

  • About 150,000 people who died from cardiovascular disease in 2009 were younger than age 65.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States. Some minority groups are more likely to be affected than others: African Americans have the highest rate of high blood pressure of all population groups, and they tend to develop it earlier in life than others.
  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for U.S. adults, but the risk of having a stroke varies. Compared to whites, African Americans are nearly twice as likely to have a first stroke. Hispanic Americans’ risk falls between the two. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely to die following a stroke than are whites.
  • Individuals with low incomes are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack, and stroke than their high-income peers.
  • The country’s highest death rates due to stroke are in the southeastern United States.


Heart Disease Prevention

Many of the people who are at high risk for heart attack or stroke don’t know they are at risk. The good news is that many of the major risks for these conditions can be prevented and controlled through healthy lifestyle changes.

MillionHearts® reminds us of these healthy living practices:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be active on most days.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Limit alcohol use.

Talk to your personal health care provider about blood pressure control, cholesterol management, aspirin regiments and smoking cessation.

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This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical or safety advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.