Heart Disease Risk Factors & Prevention Tips

According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. It is also the number one killer of women in the United States. It is the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. It is unfortunate that heart disease cases continue to grow every year. It can affect people at any age, but the risk increases as we age.

Types of Heart Disease

Heart disease actually refers to several different heart conditions. These are just some heart conditions you may be familiar with:

  • The most common is coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is when too much plaque builds up in the arteries and is typically the main cause of a heart attack.
  • A heart attack, also known as myocardial infraction, occurs when the heart is not getting enough blood flow. It’s important to note that while chest pain is a main symptom of a heart attack, women may experience other symptoms that may not initially be associated with a heart attack like nausea and fatigue.
  • Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart unexpectedly stops beating.
  • Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is a heart arrythmia that occurs when the upper and lower chambers of the heart are not coordinated. This can cause the heart to beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. If you have AFib, you may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, heart palpitations, and chest pain.
  • An aortic aneurysm is a bulge that develops in the aorta that can balloon or rupture, causing internal bleeding.

These are just a few common heart conditions that people may experience for a variety of reasons. The risk for developing a heart condition increases as we age, but there are many factors that can contribute to it.

If you or someone you are with are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 immediately.  

Risk Factors

Lifestyle, age and family history can all contribute to risk factors for heart disease.

Key risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking.

Other risk factors: diabetes, obesity, low physical activity, alcohol usage, poor diet.

Prevention Tips

Quit smoking, eat healthier, and get more exercise. While some things are out of our control, like aging and genetics, there are many lifestyle changes we can make to prevent and reverse heart disease. There are things you can start doing today and work to slowly improve your health. If you are a smoker, you need to quit smoking for a variety of reasons, including preventing heart disease. Most of us could work to improve our diets. Lower or eliminate foods that are high in saturated and trans fats. Limit sugar and lower or eliminate alcohol consumption. Add in healthy whole foods that are high in fiber and lower in cholesterol. There are a variety of free resources out there with meal prep tips and recipe ideas. You don’t have to break the bank to eat healthier.

It’s also important to manage any medical conditions you may already have, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Make sure you are communicating with your doctor about any lifestyle changes you are making. Be sure to take any medications as directed.

Our team at Vida is passionate about helping people prevent or manage diseases like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. We work to make sure your digestive health is improved, as well as energy levels through hormone therapy and other treatments. It is hard to make the aggressive lifestyle changes necessary if you are tired all the time. If you are having trouble losing weight, our semaglutide weight loss program might be a good fit to jump start your weight loss journey and help with any blood sugar imbalances.

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time, contact our office to schedule your initial consultation at our integrative medicine practice in Miami, Florida. We look forward to working with you.