Your Risk for Heart Disease

There are several types of cardiovascular disease: hypertension, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, stroke (thrombosis or stroke) and rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases cause more than 17 million deaths worldwide each year, accounting for half of all deaths in the United States and other developed countries. Cardiovascular diseases are also a major cause of death in many developing countries. Together, they are the leading cause of death in adults.

Heart Disease

Heart Disease

In the United States, more than 80 million people suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease. Around 2,200 people die every day of cardiovascular disease. Cancer, the second leading cause of death, produces more than half of deaths.

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States today. But because of lots of research and a huge number of sufferers, researchers have located specific things that play a vital part inside the likelihood that someone affected by a heart situation. They may be named “risk factors.”

Risk factors are separated directly into two classes: major and contributing. The main risk factors are those whose effect of increasing cardiovascular risk has been proven. Contributing factors are those that doctors think can lead to an increased cardiovascular risk but whose exact role has not been defined yet.

The more risk factors a person has, the greater your chances of developing heart disease. Some risk factors can be changed, treated or modified, and some not. But control of the maximum number of risk factors through changes in lifestyle and / or medication, can reduce cardiovascular risk.

Best Laugh Factors

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease, a heart attack or stroke. Although other risk factors can cause hypertension, can have it and not have other risk factors. People, who are also hypertensive obese, smoke or have high levels of blood cholesterol, have a much higher risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Blood pressure varies according to the activity and age, but a healthy adult at rest generally has a systolic pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic pressure of less than 80.

High Cholesterol

One of the main cardiovascular risk factors is high cholesterol. Cholesterol, a fatty substance (a lipid) transported in the blood, is found in all body cells. The liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs to form cell membranes and certain hormones. The body gets additional cholesterol foods of animal origin (meat, eggs and dairy products).

Although we often blame the elevation of blood cholesterol to cholesterol in the foods we eat, the main culprit is saturated fat increase of food. (Carefully read the nutritional information listed on the packaging, because a food does not contain cholesterol may contain large amounts of saturated fat.) The fat dairy products, fat from red meat and tropical oils such as oil coconut are some of the foods rich in saturated fat.

When the blood includes also low density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad cholesterol”), they commence to accumulate around the walls of your arteries forming plaque and initiating the illness course of action called ‘atherosclerosis’. When plaque builds up in the coronary arteries that supply the heart, there is an increased risk of having a heart attack.

Diabetes Mellitus

Heart problems are the leading cause of death among diabetics, especially those who suffer from adult onset diabetes or type II (also called “non-insulin dependent diabetes’). Certain racial and ethnic groups (black, Hispanic, Asian, Polynesian, Micronesian, Melanesian and Native Americans) are at increased risk for diabetes. The American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that 65% of patients with diabetes die from some form of cardiovascular disease. If you know you have diabetes, should be monitored by a doctor, because good control of blood glucose (sugar) levels can reduce their cardiovascular risk. If you think you may have diabetes but are not sure, talk to the doctor who will perform the corresponding analysis.

Obesity and Overweight

It is believed that excessive weight can raise total cholesterol levels, increased blood pressure and increase the risk stoppage coronary artery. Obesity increases the chances of getting cardiovascular risk factors, especially hypertension, elevated blood cholesterol and diabetes.

Currently, many physicians measure obesity body mass index (BMI) which is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters (BMI = kg/m2). Based on the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), someone is thought of overweight for those who possess a BMI more than 25 and obese in the event the figure is more than 30. You can determine your BMI by using the calculator below. With that number, you can find your body composition by consulting the table below the calculator.


The body mass index (BMI) is a formula used to evaluate body weight relative to height. The formula to measure body composition and has proven to be an effective way to determine body fat. To calculate your BMI, enter your height and weight below.

Body Composition Body Mass Index (BMI)

  • Underweight Less than 18.5
  • Normal 18.5 – 24.9
  • Above normal weight 25.0 – 29.9
  • Obesity Over 30.0


Most people know that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer, but few know that it also significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease (disease of the blood vessels supplying the arms and legs). As outlined by the American Heart Association, extra than 400,000 Americans die every single year from smoking-related diseases. Many of these deaths are due to the effects of smoke snuff in the heart and blood vessels.

Research shows that smoking increases heart rate, tightens major arteries and can cause irregularities in the frequency of heartbeats, all of which increase the heart’s workload. Smoking also increases blood pressure, which in turn increases the risk of stroke in people with hypertension. Although nicotine is the main active agent snuff smoke, other compounds and chemicals such as tar and carbon monoxide are also harmful for the heart. These chemicals contribute to the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, possibly damaging the blood vessel walls. Also affect cholesterol and fibrinogen levels (blood coagulant), thus increasing the risk of forming a blood clot that can cause a heart attack.

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Physical Inactivity

Inactive people have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack than people who exercise regularly. Exercise burns calories, helps control cholesterol levels and diabetes, and may lower blood pressure. Exercising also strengthens the heart muscle and tends to make the arteries extra versatile. Folks who actively burn 500 to three,500 calories per week, either at operate or functioning out, possess a life expectancy larger than sedentary people today. Even moderate-intensity exercise is beneficial if done regularly.


In general, men have a higher risk than women of suffering a heart attack. The difference is smaller when women begin menopause, because research shows that estrogen, a female hormone, helps protect women from heart disease. But after 65 years of age, cardiovascular risk is approximately equal in men and women when other risk factors are similar.


Heart disease usually hereditary. For example, if parents or siblings suffered a heart or circulatory problem before age 55, the person has a higher cardiovascular risk than someone who has no such family history. Risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity can also be transmitted from one generation to the next.

In addition, researchers have found that some types of cardiovascular disease are more common among certain racial and ethnic groups. For example, studies show that blacks have hypertension more severe and have a higher cardiovascular risk than whites. Most cardiovascular studies have focused on minorities mainly blacks and Hispanics, using the white population as a comparison. Cardiovascular risk factors in other minority groups are still being studied.


Older people have a higher risk of heart disease. Approximately 4 out of every 5 deaths due to heart disease occur in people over 65 years old.

With age, the heart’s activity tends to deteriorate. You can increase the thickness of the walls of the heart, arteries can harden and lose its flexibility and, when this happens, the heart cannot pump blood as efficiently as before the muscles of the body. Due to these changes, the cardiovascular risk increases with age. Thanks to their sex hormones, women generally are protected from heart disease until menopause, when their risk begins to increase. Women over age 65 have about the same cardiovascular risk than men of the same age.

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Contributing Factors


It is believed that stress is a contributing factor to cardiovascular risk but still not much is known about its effects. No further demonstrated the effects of stress emotional, behavioral habits and socioeconomic status on the risk of heart disease or a heart attack, because we all face the stress differently. How much and how stress affects us depends on each of us.

Researchers have found several reasons why stress can affect the heart.

Stressful situations raise your heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the heart’s need for oxygen. This need for oxygen can cause angina, or chest pain in heart patients.

In times of stress, the nervous system releases more hormones (mainly adrenaline). These hormones increase blood pressure, which can damage the inner lining of the arteries. To heal the walls of arteries, they can harden or increase in thickness, thus facilitating the accumulation of plaque.

Stress also increases the concentration of blood clotting factors, thereby increasing the risk of a clot. Clots can completely block an artery already partially narrowed by plaque and cause a heart attack.

Stress can also contribute to other risk factors. For example, a person suffering from stress can eat more than you should for comfort, you can start smoking or smoking more than usual.

Sex Hormones

Sex hormones appear to play a role in heart disease. Among women under 40 years of age, it is uncommon to see cases of heart disease. But between 40 and 65 years of age, when most women go through menopause, significantly increase the likelihood that a woman suffers a heart attack. And, after 65 years of age, women account for about half of all heart attack victims.

Oral Contraceptives

The first birth control pills containing high levels of estrogen and progestin, and take it increased the chances of developing cardiovascular disease or stroke, especially in women over 35 who smoke. But today’s oral contraceptives contain much lower doses of hormones and are considered safe for women under age 35 who do not smoke or have hypertension.

However, oral contraceptives increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood clots in women who smoke or have other risk factors, especially if you are older than 35 years. According to the American Heart Association, women who take oral contraceptives annual checkups should include a check of blood pressure, triglycerides and blood sugar.


Studies show that cardiovascular risk is lower in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol than people who do not drink. According to experts, moderate consumption is an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A drink is defined as 1.5 fl oz (44 ml) of spirits of an alcoholic strength of 40 ° (80 proof) (such as bourbon or scotch, vodka, gin, etc..), 1 fl oz (30 ml ) in spirits of an alcoholic strength of 50 ° (100 proof), 4 fl oz (118 ml) of wine or 12 fluid ounces (355 ml) of beer. But exceed moderate consumption of alcohol can cause heart-related problems, such as hypertension, stroke, irregular heartbeats, and cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease). In addition, a drink has between 100 and 200 calories. Calories from alcohol often increase body fat, which can in turn increase cardiovascular risk. It is not recommended that nondrinkers start doing or that you already drink alcohol increase their consumption.

It is never too late or too early to begin improving heart health. Some risk factors can be controlled and some not, but if you eliminate the risk factors that can be changed and controlled properly cannot be changed, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease.


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