There are many risk factors that cause heart disease. Some are uncontrollable and some are uncontrollable.

The uncontrollable risks factors are:

  • Male sex
  • Age group
  • Family history
  • Post-menopause
  • Race

Lifestyles are controllable risk factors that determine the onset of processes in the body that result in the formation of heart diseases. Below are 8 controllable risk factors related to lifestyle, that accounts for 90% of the total risk factors and they are in increasing order of risks:

8th Alcohol

Depending on the type of alcohol, the higher the intake, the higher the risk of dying from heart attack. Red wine, on the other hand, because of the polyphenol content, may benefit the heart because it reduce the blood platelet aggregation and reduce coagulation and blockage of the artery.

7th  Lack of exercise

Regular physical activities reduce and control body weight, slow down the development of diabetes as exercise helps to control insulin level in the blood. Regular exercise also helps the body to function optimally. The easiest form is to walk 30 minutes everyday.

6th  Fruits and vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables everyday gives you many benefits; provide lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients are important co-factors in many enzymatic processes for good functioning of the heart.

Fruits and vegetables reduce the bad nutrients such as fats and unhealthy macro-nutrients. They help to prevent plaque formation that blocks the artery.

5th  Obesity and overweight

There is a strong correlation between overweight and heart diseases. Most heart attacks occur to people who are overweight and obese. Being overweight put a big strain on the heart and makes the heart work harder to pump the nutrients and oxygen to the extra tissues in the overweight body.

4th  Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a major contributor to heart disease. When you have high blood pressure, the heart needs more energy and strength to pump blood effectively to all tissues. This weakens the heart and the arterial wall, making it easier to rupture leading to stroke or heart attack.

3rd  Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many toxic chemicals in the blood that can activate the blood platelets to form plaque that will clog blood and damage vessel walls.

2nd  Diabetes

It is well established that diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. It increases the risk by 2-4 fold. Heart failure is the leading cause of death for diabetics. High blood sugar cause high level of inflammation in the blood, which increase damage of the blood vessel wall and formation of plaque.

1st High cholesterol and blood fats

20% of the cholesterol is obtained from the food we take and 80% of the body’s cholesterol is  produced by the liver, in the form of bile. Bile is necessary for the digestion of fats, and it is subsequently re-absorbed back into the body.

Other than cholesterol, triglyceride is also a type of blood fat that contributes to the formation of plaque in the artery that leads to heart disease.

Knowing all these risk factors is the first step towards prevention of heart disease. While we cannot do anything with the uncontrollable factors, we can manage our lifestyles to minimize the controllable risk factors. So get into action NOW to reduce your risk of heart disease.

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