The first step to reducing your risk for heart attack and heart disease is to know where you currently stand. Do you know where you stand with the following areas? If you cholesterol is being controlled by medicine and the results are cholesterol levels in range, that is good. Same for blood pressure.
- High Cholesterol & High Blood Pressure: The key is knowing your own numbers and taking action to get them in normal range.
- Diabetes: Diabetes speeds up atherosclerosis - which everyone gets as we get older, but some of us are predispositioned to have this condition earlier and more disease than others.
- Inactivity: Fixable no matter where you are in life - there's chair yoga for those who cannot get up and down on the floor - walking, even ten minutes can change your physical health)
- Obesity/Overweight: Being overweight is a full time battle - it affects every single organ in our body. If you have struggled with your weight and know it is a hindrance to getting healthier, then seek help from others. You are not alone, and there are so many programs to help you get started.
- Elevated C-reactive protein levels: This information comes from a simple blood test that you can request your doctor orders, or find a local screening in your area.
- Smoking: Stop - and this is one area that doctors or clinics can help with.
- Family History: To the best of your ability you need to learn what caused your parents, aunts, uncles, siblings health problems and death. It only takes one family member who has had heart disease or currently living with it to up your odds of getting heart disease.
- Postmenopausal: This is a fact of life for women. But many women have hysterectomies and that puts you into medical menopause.
Now that hopefully you understand your risk factors, you must also take into account your own personality. A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard showed that a heart attack risk is higher after an anger outburst for 2 hours after the episode. After an outburst the risk of a heart attack increases 5 times, risk of stroke raises by three times in addition to abnormal heartbeat or ventricular arrhythmia. (The risk per person also depends on how often anger outbursts occur, and their own personal risk factors.)