6 risk factors for heart disease, how to prevent them

80% of heart disease is preventable

February is American Heart Month, a time when we should all take a moment to make sure we are doing the right things in our lives to be heart-healthy. The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) is home to some of the top medical professionals who provide care for your heart.

So, to get their advice, we invited Dr. Aziz Alkatib, an interventional Cardiologist with the DMC, to share some facts you should know about heart disease.

According to Dr. Alkatib, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Every year about 800,000 people suffer a heart attack, he went on to say.

Luckily, he says, heart disease is quite preventable if you intervene early on. In fact, he says 80% of heart disease is preventable.

So one thing you should do is look out for the risk factors for heart disease. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Family history and genetics

If you have any of these risk factors, it is important you pay extra close attention to your heart health. The more risk factors you have, the more likely it is you will develop heart disease.

Fortunately, as he mentioned before, you can do some things to decrease these risk factors.

First of all, improving your diet can affect a lot of these risk factors. Try to eat more whole, natural foods, and less processed foods high in sugars and salt. Adding movement to your day, like going on a daily walk can also help. You should also try to quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and know your numbers. What he means by that is to track your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar numbers on a regular basis so you can be aware of any changes and inform your doctor.

For more information on how to find a DMC heart doctor, and to take a free online heart risk assessment to understand your risk of heart disease, click or tap here.