Know Your Risks for Heart Disease

Many factors such as being predisposed to a family history of heart complications can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and eating a poor diet can increase your risks for cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, include diseased vessels, structural problems and blood clots that can lead to severe chest pain, heart attack, or stroke.

With heart disease being one of the leading causes of death in the United States, knowing your risks factors is a key step in prevention.  Some risk factors to identify include:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Smoking
  • Age (over 55)

Aging and being genetically predisposed to a family history of heart disease is not under your control. However, you can prevent your risks for heart disease by making minor lifestyle adjustments such as engaging in daily activity and eating a healthier diet.  

Minor symptoms of heart disease (dizzy spells, stomach pains, or slight heart burn) might not raise eyebrows or lead you to seek medical attention. However, symptoms such as the below require medical attention:

  • Severe chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Racing or slow heartbeat
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, and upper back or abdomen

Along with knowing your risk factors and noticing symptoms of heart disease, there are many ways you can reduce your risks with healthy habits such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Staying physically active
  • Reducing your salt and sugar intake
  • Quitting your smoking habits
  • Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Monitoring your numbers

The best way to know if you are at risk for heart disease to get regularly screened for high blood pressure.  At AFC Urgent Care, we conduct blood pressure screenings with every visit to our urgent care center.  If your blood pressure readings are of concern, we will refer you to your primary care physician or a specialist for further evaluation.  

For more information about the services we provide, please call us at 973-669-5900.