Heart Awareness Month 

Risk Factors In Heart Disease

The more risk factors you have, the more likely you are to develop heart and circulatory diseases. The good news is that you can do something about most risk factors.

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can increase your risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in our blood, which is produced naturally in the liver. Everyone has cholesterol. We need it to stay healthy because every cell in our body uses it. Some of this cholesterol comes from the food that we eat.

There are two main types of cholesterol – one is ‘good’ and the other is ‘bad’. Having too much ‘bad’ cholesterol can cause problems. It can clog up the arteries carrying blood around your body.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure isn’t usually something that you can feel or notice, but if you have it you’re more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a stroke.

As many as 7 million people in the UK are living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, without knowing they are at risk. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.

Diabetes

Diabetes causes damage to your blood vessels. This makes you two to three times more likely to develop heart and circulatory conditions like coronary heart disease, stroke and vascular dementia.

Your Weight

Your weight can have a big impact on your long-term health, but there are lots of simple things you can do to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight. If you are overweight or obese you are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone who is a healthy weight.

Family History

Heart and circulatory diseases can run in families. If you know that an immediate family member has a condition, it’s important that you get appropriate screening and testing.

If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, angina, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

Smoking

Smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack than non-smokers. Quitting for good is one of the best things you can do to keep your heart and circulatory system healthy.

If you’re a smoker, stopping smoking is the single most important step you can take to protect the health of your heart.

All information taken from the British Heart Foundation website https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/risk-factors

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