Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

What Are The Risk Factors For Heart Disease?

Posted by Total Access Medical on Feb 01, 2022

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 1.57.37 PMHeart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. There are risk factors for heart disease that you have control over and others that you don’t. 

Having even one risk factor increases your odds of getting heart disease. About half of all adults have at least one of three major risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking. 

These are some of the more common heart disease risks:

  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • High cholesterol. Extra cholesterol can build up on artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.
  • Diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease as people who don’t have it.
  • Depression. Adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms of depression have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary artery disease.
  • Obesity. Being overweight or obese is linked to several factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

Certain behaviors also put you at risk for heart disease. These include:

  • Smoking. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and causes approximately 1 in 4 heart disease deaths.
  • Eating a poor diet. A diet that’s high in fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  • Not exercising. Even though exercise reduces the risk for heart disease and early death, only about half of Americans get the recommended amount of aerobic activity.
  • Drinking alcohol excessively. Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk for heart attack, heart failure, and death. Excess drinking can damage the heart before symptoms even appear.

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