Six Primary Factors That Increase The Risks for Cardiovascular Disease

The risks for cardiovascular disease have become more well known in recent years. This fact is one of the main reasons for the decrease in heart attack incidences and deaths. But while this is very good news there is much work to be done in getting out the message about the risks for cardiovascular disease since heart attack still ranks as the second most common cause of death. Just nosing out its close relative stroke.

In this article we will talk a little about the risk factors that can be changed or managed and leave those which cannot, such as male gender, a family history of heart disease, and age for another time. So if you have a few minutes why don’t we get started.

*Cigarette smoking: It would be irresponsible of me not to kick of this list of risks for cardiovascular disease with anything other than smoking. While smoking is on the decline in the United States is has taken on a new life in many Asian countries where it is growing in leaps and bounds. Not surprisingly in these countries the incidences of heart attack and stroke have double and in some cases even tripled from their previous levels.

Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause bad cholesterol levels to increase, good cholesterol levels decrease, and increase the risk of dangerous arterial plaque deposits in the arteries.

The good news is that a recent study showed that about 40 percent of the increased risk is removed within five years of throwing those cigarettes in the trash for good.

*Inactivity: As a young man I used to have a coworker that sat on the couch so much that he left a permanent impression of his backside. Knowing what I know now it is no surprised that he was plagued by coronary artery disease.

According to the Center for Disease Control just under four out of every ten heart attack victims are inactive. Research tells us that lack of exercise has many negative consequences including raising blood lipid levels (cholesterol, triglycerides) and lowering good cholesterol. To counteract this the AMA suggests 30 minutes of doctor approved moderate exercise daily.

*Blood Cholesterol: There is a clear cut relationship between blood cholesterol levels and heart and artery disease. Cholesterol is a fluffy wax like substance that is carried in the blood by lipoprotein molecules. The problem is that cholesterol is the primary building block for arterial plaque. Additionally, recent research suggests it may scuff the interior lining of the arteries making the accumulation of artery clogging plaque more likely.

*Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on the inside of your arteries as the blood races to its predetermined destination. There is a direct correlation between high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease with any reading over 140 over 90 considered to be one of the risks for cardiovascular disease. Antihypertensive drugs and/or lifestyle changes are just a couple of the ways common suggested by doctors to bring blood pressure levels into an acceptable range, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

*Obesity: Most cardiologist will tell you that they believe obesity to be the next big challenge in the fight against cardiovascular disease. There has been a disagreement for years between experts as to whether obesity is a primary or secondary risk factor, with most evidence as of late coming down on the side of primary. Being as little as 15 percent overweight increased the chances of both heart and artery disease. Losing those extra pounds would not only be good for your heart and artery health but more than likely will help increase energy levels, decrease pressure on those aging joints, and boost any damaged self esteem.

*Diabetes: Diabetes is so dangerous it is scary on many different levels. Someone with diabetes has a three times greater chance of dying prematurely from some form of cardiovascular disease and these individual need to be extremely aggressive in reducing any risk factors linked to heart attack or stroke. Foremost are the attainment of as normal a blood glucose reading