More than 650,000 people in the U.S. will die from heart disease this year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. One person dies every 36 seconds in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease. These are staggering statistics.
It’s important to think about the risk factors for heart disease, as things you can do something about, we call those modifiable risk factors. We are all born with certain genetics and a certain biology we can’t change. Genetics can affect your risk of having a heart attack or heart disease, unfortunately, you can’t fix your genetics. There are certain risk factors that you have some control over. Things like smoking, being overweight, what you’re eating, your physical activity, your blood pressure, your cholesterol and others. If you have diabetes, a modifiable risk factor is how you’re managing your diabetes. A big one that underlies lots of diseases, including heart disease, is your stress level and what you’re doing to cope.