Is there any correlation between age and heart disease? What are the age ranges for getting heart disease? Who might be susceptible to this disease? These are all excellent questions that we will answer in this article along with covering the major risk factors for heart disease. So if you have a few minutes to spare why don’t we get right to it.
Without a doubt there is a correlation between age and heart disease but just because the numbers are stacked in the favor of those over 50 years old does not mean that someone in their teens or twenties can’t have a heart attack or stroke. In fact it happens all the time, but normally outside factors (heat, drugs, dehydration) or genetic defects trigger a deadly series of events. But while these deaths are very sad, they don’t reflect the true nature of heart disease.
Heart disease is a combination of the heart muscle weakening and atherosclerosis (arterial blockage or hardening). The fact of the matter is that as we age our arteries start to fill up with cholesterol, mainly from poor lifestyle choices. This process may take 20, 30, or even 40 or more years to play out but when it does symptoms such as shortness of breath, excess fluid in the body, fatigue, excess sweating, weakness, chest pain, and/or poor circulation or discoloration in the extremities start to show up.
Statistically heart disease is almost exclusively reserved for those over the age of 65, with 83 percent of heart disease death occurring in those 65 or older. There is one interesting dynamic that occurs as it relates to men and women. Prior to age 55 women have less heart attacks but by the time they reach 65 they are equally likely to have a heart attack and more likely to die from it within a few weeks.
What are the six primary risk factors?
*Tobacco smoke: Statically the more prevalent smoking is the higher the risk of coronary heart disease. In fact smokers are about 3 times more likely to develop heart disease. Smoking also brings down the age range for heart attack and stroke substantially. When smoking is combined with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure, it can be particularly deadly.
*High blood cholesterol: As we age our cholesterol levels naturally rise. When problematic cholesterol levels are combined with other risk factors the risk of a heart attack or stroke increases even more. Some have found a natural cholesterol reduction supplement to be helpful in the this area.
*Inactivity: According to the CDC 39.5 percent of heart attack victims are inactive.
*Obesity and being overweight: Women whose waistline is over 35 inches and men whose waistlines are over 40 inches are more at risk of heart disease even is no other risk factors are present. Additionally, being as little as 10 percent over your ideal body weight increases your risks as well.
*High blood pressure: When a person has high blood pressure their heart has to work harder causing it to thicken and become stiffer. It also increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and congestive heart failure.
*Diabetes: Diabetics are at great risk of heart and artery disease especially when it is not managed well. About 75 percent of diabetics will die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease.