Besides being overweight or obese, there are additional lifestyle-linked risk factors that can increase the likelihood of having heart problems. These include:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High LDL-cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
- High triglycerides
- High blood glucose (sugar)
- Physical inactivity
- Cigarette smoking
For a truly personalized understanding of your risk for heart disease, it is always best to discuss your health situation with your doctor. To further assess your risk for heart disease by taking into account your lifestyle and other heart health risk factors check out the “The Heart Attack Risk Assessment Tool” available at the American Heart Association’s website (https://www.heart.org) or by pasting the following link into your browser https://www.heart.org/gglRisk/locale/en_US/index.html?gtype=health. This tool was developed based on findings from the landmark long-term research project known as the “Framingham Heart Study”. In this study, three generations of men and women from Framingham, Massachusetts were tracked over time to better understand the causes of cardiovascular disease.
The tool takes your personal risk factors including elevated blood lipids, a family history of heart disease, and whether you smoke into consideration and estimates risk for having a heart attack or dying in the next 10 years. A risk score of 10% means that 10 out of 100 people in that risk category will have a heart attack or die within 10 years. The lower your score, the lower the risk. This tool is designed for people aged 20 years and older who do not have known heart disease or diabetes. If you find that your score is elevated, the important thing is to be proactive about your heart health by staying current with your medical visits and working on improving the health of your lifestyle. NYCC can help you take control of your heart health by assessing your current status, treating existing conditions, and risk factors, treating existing conditions, and guiding your path in adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle.