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Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Are you at risk for heart attack or other coronary disease?

It's not really a question of whether you are or not -- because you are. All of us are. The larger and more important question, really, is how high your risk is and why.

The contributors to coronary disease are many and interrelated. Each rish factor present for you will raise your overall risk level. Sometimes, in combination, rish factors can raise your risk level dramatically.

Some risk factors you're simply stuck with; they're just part of what you are. But many other risk factors results from lifestyle choices, which you cna change to help lower your risk. That's why the American Heart Association urges you to be aware of the risk factors and to lower or eliminates as many as you can from your life.


Your Age: Risk of coronary disease increases sharply with age. For example, more than eight of every ten people who die of coronary heart diease are 65 or older. And older women who have heart attakcs are more likely to die from them within a few weeks than men are.

Your Genger: Men, take particular caution. Of coronary heart disease affects men and women -- and heart attack is the leading cause of death for both men and women -- currents stats show that if you're a man, your risk of heart attack is greater than that for a woman and you're more likely to have a heart attack earlier in life. Although the death rate for women increase after menopause, it's still lower than the rate for men.

Your Healthy and Racial Background: Did your parents have heart disease? If so, you're more likely to develop it yourself. Are you an African American? If so, you have a higher risk of heart disease and severe high blood pressure than do Caucasians. Mexican Americans, American Indians,native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans also have higher risk levels. Most people with a strong family history of heart disease have one or more other risk factors, too.


Tobacco Smoke: Do you smoke? Stop. Links between smoking and heart disease are well known and some of the numbers are simply astounding. If you smore, for example, expect your risk of developing coronary heart disease to skyrocket -- from two to four times that of nonsomokers. Cigarett smoking is powerfully linked to sudden cardiac death in patients who already have heart disease. It also acts with other risk factors to greatly increase the risk for coronary heart disease. Not even cigars or pipes are safe -- people who use them seem to have a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease. And exposure to second hand smoke increase the risk of heart disease, even for non-smokers.

High Blood Cholesterol: Do you know your cholesterol level? It's affected by age, gender and heredity, but also by your diet. In general, the higher your blood cholesterol, the freater your risk of coronary heart disease. When other risk factors are present, (such as high blood pressure and tobacco smoke), the risk increase even more.

High Blood Pressure: Most people know that high blood pressure is bad, but do you know why? High blood pressure rmakes your heart work harder to serve your body's needs. This can cause the walls of your heart to thicken and become stiffer. If you combine high blood pressure with other risk factors like obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol levels or diabetes, you increase your risk of heart attack or stroke by several times.

Physical Inactivity: In inactive lifestyle is a risk factor for coronary heat disease. Regular, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity helps prevent heart and blood vessel disease. The more vigorous the activity, the greater the benefits. However, even moderate-intensity activities help if done regularly and over long terms. Exercise can help control blood cholesterol and obesity, as well as help lower pressure in some people.

Obesity and Overweight: The bad news is that people with excess body fat are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke -- especailly if a lot of the excess fat is at the waist -- even if other risk factors are absent. The good news isthat by loosing even as few as 10 pounds, these risks can be lowered. Excess weight makes your heart work harder. It raises blood pressure and blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels (which are unhealthy) and lowers HDL cholesterol (which is healthy)

Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetes is one of the most risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, which is one reason why the spike in new diabetes cases has health officials so concerned. Most people with diabetes -- about three to four -- eventually dies from form of heart or blood vesel disease. Even when diabetics have glucose levels controlled, they remain at higher risk for heart diases and stroke. If blood sugar is nor well controlled, the risks are even greater.


Stress: Experts believe stress may contribute to heart disease because people under stress may tend to overeat, start smoking or smoke more than they otherwise would.

Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failures and lead to stroke., although the risk of heart disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol (an average of one drink for women or two drinks for men per day) is lopwer than in non-drinkers. Still, the American Heart Association doesn't recommend that non-drinkes start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount they drink.

(Source: EXPERIENCELIFEMAG/Cholesterol Nemesis by: Quaker Oats/ visit: www.quakeroatmeal.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 7:59 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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