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Are you at risk for heart disease?

Risk factors are conditions that make a person more likely to develop a disease. They also increase the chances that an existing disease will get worse.

YogaYoga practice is good for heart

The risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Family history of coronary disease or heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity/being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Age of 65 or older

While some risk factors such as age and family history cannot be changed, most other risk factors can be minimized. The following are just a few ways you can address specific risk factors.

Low HDL (good cholesterol) - High levels of HDL cholesterol seem to protect us from heart attack. Experts believe that HDL helps remove excess cholesterol from the arteries, protecting against buildup. You can raise your HDL levels by replacing saturated fats (meat, egg yolk, dairy products) with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats (fish, olive oil, canola oil), and with exercise. In some cases, medication is needed to target raising HDL.

Excess weight - Shedding excess pounds can help raise your HDL and lower your LDL levels, as well as improve glucose levels.

Smoking - Cigarette smoking lowers HDL levels and increases blood pressure. Learn more about Community Hospital's "Kick the Nic" program. The program is designed to help you quit smoking for good.

Inactivity/lack of exercise - All aerobic activities are beneficial to your heart. You don't need to commit to anything too strenuous, just get moving! Walking is still considered one of the best exercises. Learn more about Community Hospital's Walk and Win program.

High-stress lifestyle - Learn about classes such as yoga, t'ai chi, meditation, and mood management that will help reduce the stress in your life.

Advanced lipid management program

Our advanced lipid management program can help you assess your specific risk for heart disease. You will start with advanced cholesterol testing, then we will help you develop an individual plan which may include medication, dietary changes, and exercise. See your doctor to learn more about a referral to our program. Call (831) 647-1123 for more information.

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