FATCS OF HEART :
As with most health conditions, there are a lot of factors that can influence your heart health. Some you can control, some
Risk factors you should be aware of that you CAN’T control include :
- YOUR AGE - The older you are, the more likely you are to get heart disease.
- YOUR GENDER - Women account for 60% of all stroke deaths.
- HEREDITY - If members of your family have had heart attacks or strokes, you are at greater risk.
- DIABETES - Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, putting
them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Risk factors you CAN control are :
- HIGH CHOLESTEROL - Cholesterol can build up with other substances in the inner walls of arteries and
can reduce blood flow and even totally block arteries. It can also lead to blood clots that cause heart attack and
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE - High blood pressure makes your heart work harder than it has to and can injure
your heart and your arteries.
- SMOKING - It’s the most preventable cause of death - including death by cardiovascular disease.
- PHYSICAL ACTIVITY - If you don’t exercise, you’re much more likely to develop heart disease or
- OBESITY - You have an increased risk of high blood pressure if you are 20 pounds or more overweight.
- STRESS - Too much stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors - overeating, smoking, etc., that can be
bad for your heart.
- BIRTH CONTROL PILLS - Many women taking oral contraceptives experience a small increase in their
- ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL DRUGS - Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure, cause heart failure and
lead to stroke. Many illegal drugs, including cocaine, have also been linked to heart attack and stroke.
Talk with your doctor about all of these risk factors. Together, work out a plan to take charge of the factors you can
control - and monitor the ones you can’t. Your heart will thank you!
When you have a heart check up, your doctor will look at your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure and other
indicators of heart health. Knowing your numbers in these critical areas is an important part of minimizing your risk of
cardiovascular disease and keeping your heart healthy.
The chart below gives you an overview of the numbers you need to know. Talk with your doctor about where your numbers