Understanding the Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. The term ‘heart disease’ describes a variety of conditions that impair cardiac function, including coronary heart disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease. While some people are inherently more prone to heart conditions than others, heart disease can develop over time due to certain lifestyle choices and cause major medical problems for older adults.
Some risk factors cannot be altered through changes in lifestyle. These are inherited, uncontrollable characteristics that can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. These factors include:
- Family history of heart attack
- Gender (males have been shown to have a higher risk of heart disease)
- Race (African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans have been shown to have a higher risk)
- Being post-menopausal
The following risk factors are controllable and can often be improved through treatment or changes in lifestyle :
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- Cigarette smoking
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol use
To reduce your risk of developing heart disease, you can make the effort to live a more heart-healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet, staying active, and avoiding smoking can go a long way in maintaining good heart health. Preventing, treating, or controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity can also be very helpful in reducing your risk of heart disease.
At MountainView Hospital of Las Vegas, we provide our patients with the highest quality cardiac care available. Our Heart and Vascular Care Center offers the only on-site cardiac rehabilitation program in the area and is accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers for sustaining superior levels of service for patients experiencing a cardiac episode. To learn more about our cardiac and vascular services, contact our experienced staff at (702) 255-5000.