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Heart to Heart Risk Factors
Patient Education » Heart to Heart Risk Factors

Heart to Heart Risk Factors

There are many ways to determine your heart health but it is more important to practice daily habits that contribute to a healthier heart. We are extremely dedicated to providing great information to our patients so they live a healthy life.

Below are some great tips and information on different Heart risk factors. Call Us if you have any questions (805) 480-2600.

  • Obesity

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    The American Heart Association has described obesity as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Obesity can be related to both genetics (family history) and lifestyle.

    Metropolitan Lifes height/weight tables are often used to determine a recommended weight for individuals based on their age and gender. Generally, those who are 20% over the recommended weight for their height are considered to be overweight - but not necessarily obese. Obesity refers to fatness rather than weight, and men who have greater than 25% of their bodies as fat and women in excess of 35% fat are considered to be obese. Obesity and being overweight carry significant health risks, and may:

    1. Raise LDL (the "bad" cholesterol),
    2. Lower HDL (the "good" cholesterol),
    3. Raise blood pressure, and
    4. Induce diabetes.

  • Diabetes

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    Diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

    What exactly is diabetes?
    The working cells need sugar for energy. Sugar is absorbed through the digestive system after a meal. Insulin is released by the pancreas to allow the body to utilize sugar as a source of nutrition and energy.

    Diabetes occurs one of two ways:

    Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin. Type 1 diabetes often begins in children or young adults and accounts for only 10% of all diabetics. The remaining 90% are Type 2 diabetics.

    Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not respond normally to the insulin produced. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs in older adults and is frequently associated with obesity, which contributes to "insulin resistance." The inability to move sugar out of the blood to the working cells results in diabetes.

    If you believe you may be at risk for diabetes, you should consult your physician about having a simple blood or urine glucose test.

  • Smoking

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    Smoking is bad for the entire cardiovascular system because of:

    Nicotine
    Carbon monoxide
    Tar

    All three of these ingredients have been linked to the development of plaque in the arteries.
    Moreover, nicotine and carbon monoxide have additional harmful effects.

    Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break, but you can do it.

  • Physical Inactivity

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    Exercise is a lot more than an energy booster and a stress reliever. It also strengthens your heart muscle, lowers your blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and burns calories.
    Talk with your doctor about the best types of activities for you.

  • High Cholesterol

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    Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that has many useful purposes in the body. Cholesterol is either produced by your body in the liver, or it can be absorbed in foods that come from animals (eggs, milk, steak, chicken). The amount of cholesterol floating in your blood is known as the total cholesterol. Cholesterol can be very harmful. Excess cholesterol may form into plaque and cause a blockage in your arteries.

  • Age

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    Aging has an effect on the risk of cardiovascular disease because aging causes changes in the heart and blood vessels. As people age, they become less active, gain more weight, and the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and poor diet continue to affect the heart and circulation by increasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Blood pressure increases with aging, in part because arteries gradually lose some of their elasticity and, over time, the arteries may not be as resilient.

  • Family History

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    A family history of cardiovascular disease could reflect either genetics or an unhealthy family lifestyle. By practicing a healthful lifestyle, you can counteract your family history rather than giving up and thinking you have no control over your destiny.

  • Hypertension

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    Hypertension is commonly referred to as high blood pressure. If you have a systolic pressure greater than 140 mmHg and/or a diastolic pressure greater than 90 mmHg on two separate visits to your doctor, then you may have high blood pressure.

  • Helpful Tips to sustain a Healthy Heart

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    1. Control Stress
    2. Eat Right
    3. Think Before You Drink
    4. Stay Active
    5. Visit Your Doctor
    6. Listen to Your Body
    7. Quit Smoking
    8. Take Your Pulse
    9. Manage Medications
    10. Visit Your Doctor