what you can & can't control
Some risk factors you can't do anything about. But others you can treat, manage or control with the help of your healthcare provider. Those you can’t change, like your Family History, are still important when assessing your risk for Heart Disease and Stroke.
Additional tools and resources for healthcare professionals can be found here.
risk factors that can be managed
You can control or treat these risk factors with lifestyle changes and your healthcare provider's help:
- | High blood pressure
- | Smoking
- | High blood cholesterol
- | Lack of regular activity
- | Obesity or overweight
- | Diabetes
risk factors you can't control
You can't change these risk factors:
- | Age
- | Gender
- | Heredity (family health history)
- | Race
- | Previous stroke or heart attack
know your numbers
Knowing your numbers is important! The American Heart Association recommends that you be aware of five key numbers: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI).
These numbers are important because they will allow you and your heathcare provider to determine your risk for developing Cardiovascular Disease by Atherosclerosis. This includes conditions such as Angina (chest pain), Heart Attack, Stroke (caused by Blood Clots) and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD).
Learn about your health numbers by scheduling a Well-Woman Visit with your healthcare provider today. Learn more about Well-Woman Visits here.
Ideal numbers for most adults are:
- CategoryIdeal Number (Less than)
- total cholesterol / hdl(good cholesterol)Get your cholesterol checked and talk to your doctor about your numbers and how they impact your HDL (good) cholesterol and your overall risk
- blood pressure
- fasting blood sugar
- body mass index (BMI)
live better with life's simple 7. know your heart score.
My Life Check® was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health by educating the public on how best to live. These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. This simple, seven-step list has been developed to deliver on the hope we all have--to live a long, productive healthy life.
take action with life's simple
1. manage blood pressure
High Blood Pressure is a major risk factor for Heart Disease and Stroke. When your Blood Pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys, which keeps you healthier longer.
2. control cholesterol
High Cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog Arteries and lead to Heart Disease and Stroke. When you control your Cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.
3. reduce blood sugar
Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of Blood Sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
4. get active
Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.
5. eat better
A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting Cardiovascular Disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy - for life!
6. lose weight
When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your Blood Pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.
7. stop smoking
Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing Cardiovascular Disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.