Heart Disease 101: What it Is & How to Prevent It

Valentine’s Day isn’t the only reason that we associate February with the heart. It’s also American Heart month, which means it’s the perfect time to educate yourself and your loved ones on heart disease.

You’ve probably heard of heart disease before, but do you really know what it entails, what the risk factors are, and how you can work to prevent heart disease? Here are the health basics on heart disease.

Heart Disease 101

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease can refer to a number of medical issues that affect the cardiovascular system, including congenital heart disease, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure. Since the 1970s, heart disease has been the leading cause of death worldwide.

What are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?

ARCpoint Labs| Heart Disease 101: What it Is & How to Prevent It.jpgThere are a number of risk factors that can increase your chance of developing some form of heart disease, including the following:

Age

With each decade we age, our risk of getting heart disease triples. Experts say this is probably due to our serum cholesterol levels, which also increase with age, leveling off for men around 45 to 50 years and women 60 to 65 years. Aging also causes changes in the vascular wall of the heart, which can affect the elasticity of our arteries and cause coronary artery disease.

Sex

Pre-menopausal women have a lower risk of heart disease than men. In middle-aged populations, heart disease is 2-5 times more common among men than women. Why the difference? Some experts think it could be due to hormones. The higher estrogen levels in women might protect the body and improve the function of women’s endothelial cells which line the blood vessels. Furthermore, differences in height, body weight, and fat distribution in en and women may alter the risk for heart disease.

Family History

If you have a history of heart disease in your immediate family, you have a higher risk of developing heart disease. When both of your parents has experienced heart disease before age 55, you have a 50% higher chance of developing it as well. This is because there are genetic components for many of the factors associated with heart disease, including abnormal blood lipids and hypertension.

Lifestyle Choices

Certain behaviors can contribute to a higher risk for heart disease, including smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor dietary choices, which can lead to high cholesterol.

How Can I Prevent Heart Disease?

There are many ways you can work to lower your risk of heart disease, including:

Fight Heart Disease Today – Get a Heart Health Panel and Cholesterol Testing at ARCpoint Labs!

ARCpoint Labs is here to help lower your risk of heart disease. Our wellness-certified nationwide labs offer cholesterol panels, biometric screenings, and wellness lab testing for individuals or companies looking to prevent heart disease among employees. With the information you gain through ARCpoint’s wellness testing, you can evaluate your risk for heart disease and take the appropriate preventative measures.

To get started on fighting heart disease today, find your local wellness-certified ARCpoint Labs!

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