The American Heritage Dictionary defines a risk factor as, "a characteristic, condition, or behavior, such as high blood pressure or smoking, that increases the possibility of disease or injury." Basically the more heart disease risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop a health condition like coronary heart disease. While the list of risks is long, we will be discussing three of the top major risk factors which include: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and tobacco smoke.
Higher cholesterol levels increase the risk of developing cardiovascular heart disease. One of the strongest drawbacks of having high cholesterol is that having other risk factors such as hypertension or smoking does not just add to the risk, it multiplies it. Your cholesterol level is affected mostly by heredity and diet while age and sex also have influence.
High blood pressure is harder on the heart which can cause it to condense and harden. Not only does it contribute to heart disease risk, but it also causes other diseases and problems like congestive heart failure and even stroke or kidney failure. Once against, hypertension also multiplies when combined with other risk factors.
While tobacco smoke is normally associated with lung cancer and other problems, it still poses a major threat to cardiac health. In fact, the assessment of the American Heart Association is that it increases the risk by 2 to 4 times over nonsmokers. After you calculate that, you might be wondering why anyone would want to risk so much for just a cigarette.
These are just three factors of many that can really destroy your heart, decrease your quality of life, and ultimately increase your health insurance premiums.