Contributing Factors to Heart Disease Tips

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Why does smoking contribute to heart disease?

Smoking Contributes to Heart Disease

Smoking is a large contributor to heart disease. It is also the one contributor that is the most preventable. People who smoke run a risk that is two to four times greater than non-smokers of having a heart attack. This includes those who smoke cigarettes, cigars or pipes.

Smokers run a much higher risk of sudden cardiac death than non-smokers. Even if you only smoke one to two cigarettes a day, the risk is still quite high that you may have a stroke or a heart attack.

People who smoke put others at risk, even non-smokers, for developing heart disease. Someone who is often subjected to a smoker's second hand smoke is at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

Smoking is a contributing factor to heart disease. One easy way to eliminate this factor is to stop smoking.

How can high blood pressure contribute to heart disease?

Blood Pressure Contributes to Heart Disease

Blood pressure is often called a "silent killer", because many people are unaware they suffer from high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart attack. People need to have their blood pressure monitored on a regular basis by a physician.

High blood pressure often causes an increase pressure on the kidneys and the heart to work harder. This then increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and even kidney disease.

A normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 and lower. High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90 and higher.

Blood pressure can be controlled through exercise, weight loss and diet. There are times when medication is required to help decrease blood pressure. Reducing your blood pressure results in less chance of developing heart disease.

How can not exercising and eating poorly contribute to heart disease?

Exercise and Diet Contribute to Heart Disease

Many people don't exercise and often eat whatever they want, whenever they want. What many people don't know is that by doing this, they may be contributing to the development of heart disease.

People who don't exercise often gain weight. This weight gain can lead to being overweight or obese. Being obese or overweight increases your chances of developing heart disease.

Exercise also helps how well your heart pump blood through your body. Quite simply, it keeps the heart healthy. Exercise can help reduce the effects of other contributing factors to heart disease. By exercising, you can lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure. It is recommended that a person get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

People often indulge in foods that aren't good for them. Foods that are fried in unhealthy oils or food that are full of fats are unhealthy. These types of food are bad for the body and can lead to the arteries clogging. Clogged arteries can lead to heart attack. The unhealthy fats or oils can higher cholesterol.

Many times, changing your diet can help reduce the chances of developing heart disease.

How does cholesterol contribute to heart disease?

Cholesterol Contributes to Heart Disease

Many people don't know what cholesterol is let alone know what their cholesterol levels may be. One thing that is known is: having high cholesterol can contribute to heart disease.

When fatty deposits filled with bad cholesterol build up on your arteries, it can cause a lack of blood flow and oxygen to your heart. This can result in heart disease.

A person's total cholesterol level should be lower than 200 mg/dl. Your LDL (this is the bad cholesterol in your blood) should be less than 70 mg/dl if you have an existing heart disease.

Your LDL level should be less than 100 mg/dl if you are at risk for heart disease and it should be no higher than 130 mg/dl if you have no risk factors.

It is important to raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and lower your bad (LDL). A goal for good cholesterol (HDL) is 40 mg/dl, and anything higher is wonderful.

People at risk for heart disease, and even those not at risk, should have their cholesterol levels checked regularly. By simply changing your diet and exercising, you can lower your cholesterol.

How does body weight contribute to heart disease?

Body Weight Contributes to Heart Disease

Being overweight can contribute to the development of heart disease. The heart has to work harder in people that carry more weight than those who are slim. This puts a strain on the heart of the overweight person.

Someone who is overweight may also have a higher bad cholesterol level, higher blood pressure and an increased risk of diabetes. Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol increases the chances of developing heart disease.

To lessen your risk of heart disease due to weight, it is important to know your BMI, or your body mass index. BMI is calculated using your height and weight. Doctors often use it to determine if one is overweight or underweight.

To figure BMI you must divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. You then must multiply your height in inches by .0254. When this is done, you divide your pounds by inches to get your BMI.

A BMI higher than 30 would be considered obese. Being obese puts you at risk for heart disease. Being overweight is classified as anything from 25 to 30. People who are overweight are also at an increased risk for heart disease. A normal BMI is from the 18.5 to 24.9 range.

Exercise and diet can help you lose weight; it can also help reduce your chance of developing heart disease due to obesity.

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