Am I at risk for heart disease?

Valley Regional Medical Center shares a heart risk assessment tool

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide – accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year – according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

It might seem impossible or pointless to try to avoid it, given how many people die from heart disease each year. But that’s just not the case. There are steps you can and should take to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

What is heart disease?
There are several different types of heart disease, but coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common.

CAD occurs when fats, cholesterol and calcium build up on the vessel walls that supply blood to the heart muscle. As the buildup thickens, the vessels become narrower, making it difficult for blood to flow to the heart muscle. This can lead to a heart attack, heart failure or even death.

Am I at risk for heart disease?
There are two types of risk factors for heart disease: the ones you can’t change (non-modifiable) and the ones you can (modifiable).

Age, gender, family history, race and menopause are non-modifiable risk factors – there’s nothing you can do about those. For example, men older than 45 and women older than 55 (or who have had their ovaries removed) have the age risk factor.

But there are some risk factors you can do something about. Weight, nutrition, physical activity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, low HDL (good cholesterol) and high LDL (bad cholesterol) are all modifiable risk factors.

The heart wants what it wants… to be healthy! Once you’ve determined your risk factors, the work begins to keep them as low as possible.

Visit https://valleyregionalmedicalcenter. com/campaigns/heart-risk-assessment and learn about your risk for heart disease.