Preventing Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Know Your Risk FactorsPreventing cardiovascular disease begins with knowing which risk factors you have and then taking action to reduce your risk. Remember, your chances of developing the condition increases with the number of risk factors you have.
- Family history of cardiovascular disease
- High cholesterol levels, also known as hypercholesterolemia (see Effects of High Cholesterol)
- High blood pressure, also known as hypertension (see Effects of High Blood Pressure)
- Diabetes (see Diabetes Complications)
- Atrial fibrillation
- Being overweight or obese (see BMI Calculator to find your ideal weight)
- Not exercising
- Cigarette smoking (see Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease).
Monitoring Your Health to Help Prevent Cardiovascular DiseaseWhile the first step in cardiovascular disease prevention may be knowing your risk factors, the next step is actually knowing whether you have any of these, especially the ones that you can control, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and atrial fibrillation (for stroke).
People with diabetes have high blood glucose (often called blood sugar). High blood sugar generally causes no diabetes symptoms, so have your blood sugar checked regularly. Having diabetes raises your chances of getting cardiovascular disease.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will decide if you need medicine such as pills or insulin shots. Your doctor can also help you make a healthy eating plan (see Diabetic Diet) and exercise plan (see Diabetes and Exercise).
(Click Diabetes Treatment for more information.)