According to the Centers for Disease Control, about half of all Americans (47%) have at least 1 of 3 key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
There are some risk factors for heart disease that you cannot control, like age or family history. But heart disease prevention means lowering your risk by changing the factors you can control.
What is Heart Disease?
The term "heart disease" describes a range of conditions (like coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems, heart attacks, and more) that affect the health of your heart. Certain health conditions, along with your lifestyle, age, and family history, can increase your risk for heart disease. These conditions are called risk factors. To prevent heart disease, doctors recommend focusing on preventable risks early in life.
Heart Disease and Heart Attack Risk Calculators
If you would like to get a sense of where you stand today and predict how likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke in the future, you can use a free online risk calculator. Here are two well-known calculators to try:
Risk calculators are a helpful way to find out how healthy your heart is and to help you make a plan for preventing heart disease. However, you should discuss the results with your doctor.
Focus on heart disease risk factors you can control:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- High blood sugar (diabetes)
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Unhealthy diet
How to Boost Heart Health and Prevent Heart Disease
Can heart disease be prevented? Yes, in fact, while cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States it is also 80% preventable. You can prevent heart disease by:
- Choosing healthy foods that prevent heart disease
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting regular exercise
- Not smoking