When we discuss cardiovascular disease, there are two facts that we like to highlight first: 1) Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; and 2) 90% of heart disease is preventable.
Now, let’s take a look at a third statistic — nearly half of Americans are affected by cardiovascular disease.
Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at Upper East Side Cardiology draw an important conclusion from these numbers — we need to help patients address the risks for cardiovascular disease.
To get started, we’ve pulled together the most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease so you get a preliminary idea of where you stand.
Risk factors you can change
Let’s first start with the risk factors that are actionable and within your power to change, including what many refer to as the big three:
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
These three lifestyle factors lead to some of the more common forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension and poor cholesterol numbers, which are the two of the leading drivers of heart disease. These factors also lead to other conditions that lend themselves to cardiovascular disease, such as having diabetes or obesity.
Any positive steps you can make toward addressing these risk factors can reverse the course of your health in significant ways. We understand that losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising are all far easier said than done, but you can start out small. Walk around your block a few times in the morning and evening, and swap out your processed cold cuts for turkey. While you’re at it, much on some carrots instead of chips.
These are small actions upon which you can build, eventually reducing or eliminating your lifestyle risks from your cardiovascular disease equation.
We acknowledge that there are no small steps for quitting smoking, but we can point you in the right direction for resources, starting here.
Risk factors you can’t change
In evaluating your risks for cardiovascular disease, it’s also important to understand that some risk factors are beyond your control to change, namely age and genetics.
Cardiovascular issues tend to strike women aged 55 and older and men aged 45 and older. As well, if you have an immediate family member who has cardiovascular disease, such as a parent, you may be more at risk.
If you combine these risk factors with some of the lifestyle ones we outline above, you can get a more complete picture of where you stand when it comes to cardiovascular disease.
The best way to determine whether you should be concerned about cardiovascular disease is to come see us for a preventive cardiology visit. This type of preemptive and proactive health care is not only smart, it can be lifesaving.
To schedule your visit, please contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. You can also call (212) 752-3464.