What is your cardiovascular risk?
Prevention and Risk Factors
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Over 60 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular diseases, and about 2,600 people die each day of it. Cancer, the second largest killer, accounts for only half as many deaths.
The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. Some of them, such as lifestyle, cholesterol and blood pressure, can be modified, treated or controlled. Others cannot, including age, gender and family history. By controlling as many risk factors as you can, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Are you at risk for cardiovascular disease? Read the risk factors below.
Age and Sex. I am a man or woman over 50 years of age.
Family History. My father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, OR my mother or sister had one before age 65, OR my mother, father, sister, brother or grandparent had a stroke.
Blood Pressure. My blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher (high blood pressure), OR a healthcare professional has said my blood pressure is high, OR my blood pressure is 120/80 – 139/89 mm Hg (prehypertension), OR I don’t know what my blood pressure is.
Tobacco Smoke. I smoke, OR I live or work with people who smoke regularly.
Total Cholesterol. My total cholesterol is 200 mg/dL or higher, OR I don’t know my level.
HDL Cholesterol. My HDL (“good”) cholesterol is less than 40 mg/dL, OR I don’t know my HDL cholesterol level.
Physical Activity. I get less than a total of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days.
Overweight. I am 20 pounds or more overweight for my height and build.
Diabetes. I have diabetes (a fasting blood sugar reading of 126 mg/dL or higher), OR I need medicine to control my blood sugar, OR I have been told I have an impaired ability to control my blood sugar (a fasting blood sugar reading greater than 100 mg/dL).
Heart Disease Medical History. I have coronary heart disease, atrial fibrillation or other heart condition(s), OR I’ve had a heart attack.
Stroke Medical History. I’ve been told that I have carotid artery disease, OR I have a disease of the leg arteries, a high red blood cell count or sickle cell anemia.