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Healthy Hearts (2)

Page history last edited by Lexy Harkins 7 years, 3 months ago

Risk factors and Prevention


Heart disease is a broad term that is used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart and blood vessels.  Some diseases that put your heart at risk for disease include:


  • Coronary heart/artery disease: narrowing of blood vessels that supply the heart muscle with oxygen and nutrients; caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries.  
  • Peripheral artery disease: a buildup of plaque in arteries that are not close to the heart such as in the legs; risk factor for heart attack.
  • Heart attack/Myocardial infarction: When blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked long enough that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies.
  • Congestive heart failure: occurs when the heart cannot effectively pump blood to the body.
  • Congenital heart disease: occurs when a person is born with a problem in the structure of the heart or the way it works.  
  • Arrhythmia: a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow, or irregular; many types that can be harmless or very dangerous. 



Electronic Blood Pressure Monitor Some conditions that increase the risk of heart diseases include:


  • High blood pressure (hypertension): This controllable risk factor is dangerous because it often has no symptoms.
  • High cholesterol: This fatty substance is essential to life, but can build up as plaque in the body’s arteries.  
  • Obesity: Having too much body fat puts stress on the body.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Physical inactivity, such as sitting for long periods of time, increases risk for disease.
  • Smoking: Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of many health problems, especially heart disease.
  • Uncontrolled stress: Some stress can be good, but continuous stress is important to deal with.



Heart disease is the number one killer of both men in women in the United States and is also a major cause of disability. It is important to recognize risk factors you can control and use prevention techniques to lower your risk of heart disease.  It is recommended that people begin checking for high blood pressure and high cholesterol in their 20s.  Beginning prevention early in life promotes better health later on.



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