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Cardiologist Heart Doctors in Palm Beach Explain How to Assess Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in America, killing nearly 730,000 people in 2010. That’s over six times the number of people who die as the result of accidents, And yet, many people don’t know what the risk factors are that increase their risk of developing cardiovascular disease, or even how to discover what they are. As a public service, your cardiologist heart doctors in Palm Beach provide in this article a list of eight risk factors and one preventative measure you should be aware of.

Eight factors that increase your risk of cardiovascular disease

1. Your age. You are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease if you are male and over 45, or female and over 55.

2. Your family history. Like your age, this is another risk factor you can’t change or do much about. If your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles have had a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular problem, you much more likely to develop heart disease yourself.

3. Your blood pressure. This risk factor (and, in fact, all of the rest in this list) you can do something about. You should know your blood pressure and have it measured often. If it is high, if you do not take steps to reduce it you greatly increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

4. Your weight. Being overweight or obese puts a huge amount of strain on your heart and circulatory system. Losing weight can help to reduce this risk.

5. Smoking. If you smoke, especially if you have other risk factors on this list, you are increasing your risk of a heart attack, coronary heart disease, or stroke with every puff. The secret of reducing this risk is simple: STOP!

6. Your Diet. A heart-healthy diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, beans, whole grains, and healthy fats. A diet that increases your risk of cardiovascular disease is based on fast, processed, and junk foods, sugary desserts and drinks, and foods that are high in sodium (salt). Gain control over your diet, and you gain control over your heart risk.

7. Exercise. One of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease is inactivity, and not getting enough aerobic exercise. Regular exercise not only decreases your risk of heart disease, it improves all aspects of your health.

8. Cholesterol. Know your cholesterol levels, both for the “bad” LDL cholesterol and the “good” HDL cholesterol. If the former is high, follow your doctors’ advice about diet, exercise, and medication to lower it.

In addition to paying attention to these general risk factors, another thing you can do to assess your risk is to take one of these self-tests available online:

• Heart Attack Risk Calculator provided by the American Heart Association: (en epañol)

• Risk Assessment Tool provided by the U.S. National Institutes of Health:

The 9th and most important thing you can do to reduce your heart risk

9. GET A CHECKUP. See your Boynton Beach or Delray Beach heart doctor, and have a full checkup. The techniques used to diagnose heart problems these days are painless and non-invasive, but effective at finding small problems before they become big ones. The best way to be proactive about your heart health is to get regular checkups from your local Boynton Beach vascular doctors at South Palm Cardiovascular Associates.

Cardiologo hispano Boynton Beach

We speak Spanish, too. So whatever your preferred language, give us a call at 561-515-0080 and we’ll set up an examination to accurately determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Based on our findings, we can make recommendations to help you lower your risk.

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Hospital Affiliations

Our physicians have privileges and daily round at Bethesda East Hospital, Bethesda West Hospital and Delray Medical Center.