Despite everything we saw in 2020, heart disease remained the leading cause of death among Americans. The most unfortunate part of it all is that it’s preventable. Yes, there are certain things that you can’t control like your genetics, but you can combat that with a healthy diet and exercise. At Champion Heart and Vascular Center, we’re your Carolina heart and vascular center in NC and we want to educate you on ways that you can prevent heart disease. Read below for five major risk factors for heart disease.
High blood pressure
When you exercise and make your muscles work hard, they get bigger and stronger. This is good for your body and increases your metabolism. Unfortunately, the same isn’t true for your heart. When you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder, which will make the walls inside your heart thicker and less efficient. Additionally, the high pressure against the outer walls of your blood vessels puts them at risk of hardening and thickening, which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, and other life-threatening conditions.
Your body needs a certain level of cholesterol to make healthy cells. However, too much of anything can be harmful. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it builds up in your blood vessels and blocks blood flow. This will increase blood pressure and put you at risk for the aforementioned conditions. Furthermore, if this cholesterol breaks loose from the side of the blood vessel it will travel through the bloodstream and lead to further build-up.
Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease as the excess sugar in your bloodstream can damage your heart and blood vessels. This damage puts you at high risk for heart disease as your blood vessels will harden and the nerves that go to the heart can also be damaged. Those who develop type 2 diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing heart disease at a younger age than those who do not.
Of all risk factors for heart disease, obesity puts those who are overweight at the highest risk. Contributing factors like a poor diet and lack of exercise that lead to the accumulation of excess weight take a toll on the heart. Moreover, there’s an extra strain that’s put on the heart that can be harmful as well. Losing a moderate amount of weight with a healthy diet and exercise can help to reduce the risk of heart disease by a considerable amount.
Not only do those who smoke put themselves at tremendous risk for lung cancer, but heart disease is a risk as well. It’s believed that about one in four heart attacks and one of every five deaths related to heart disease are a direct result of smoking. This is because your blood is contaminated with chemicals from the smoke you inhale. These chemicals cause severe damage to your heart and blood vessels.
Contact us to learn more
If you’d like to learn more about risk factors for heart disease, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Carolina heart and vascular center in NC. Here at Champion Heart and Vascular Center, we want to help you identify any factors that put you at risk for heart disease then find a way to combat them. Reach out to schedule an appointment by calling either of our locations in Henderson or Dunn. If you’d like, you can also send us a message using our contact form to learn more about our services before getting started.