Five Risk Factors for Heart Disease

1. Family History

Talk to your parents and close relatives to see if there is any history of heart disease in your family. Share this information with your doctor so you can be aware of what it means for you.

2. Smoking

Smoking isn’t just tied to lung disease. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of heart disease up to 400%. Almost 20% of heart disease deaths in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. Even if you’ve smoked for a long time, quitting will make a huge improvement in your health.

3. High Cholesterol

If your cholesterol is high you have a higher risk for coronary disease. Concentrate on lowering your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising your “good” HDL cholesterol. A 10% decrease in your LDL levels can diminish your risk of a heart attack or stroke by 20% according to a Harvard Medical School study.

4. Lack of Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle increases risk of heart disease. Help your heart out by giving it a workout.

5. Being Overweight

Individuals with excess body fat, expecially abdominal fat, have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.