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Here are 12 Risk Factors for Developing Heart Disease
Cardiology Hannibal, MOWhile many of the risk factors for heart disease listed below are well known, some may surprise you.  Read through the list and see how many apply to you. If you have more than a couple, then it may be time to see a cardiologist and find out what you can do to reduce your risk. 


Risk factors for developing heart disease include:

  • Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries, as well as weakened or thickened heart muscle.
  • Gender. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. However, women's risk increases after menopause.
  • Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
  • Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in non-smokers.
  • Poor diet. A diet that's high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
  • High cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. Both conditions share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise also is associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors as well.
  • Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Poor hygiene. Not regularly washing your hands and not establishing other habits that can help prevent viral or bacterial infections can put you at risk of heart infections, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. Poor dental health also may contribute to heart disease.
     
    Heart disease, detected early, can be improved — or even prevented — by making certain lifestyle changes. Call today and make an appointment to see a cardiologist in a heartbeat. Hannibal Regional Medical Group’s Cardiology Team accepts patients in a heartbeat because we put patients first. No referral needed. When it comes to matters of the heart, our compassion and clinical expertise go hand in hand. We believe in guiding you to BETTER.
     
    If you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, Call 573-629-3300, to schedule your appointment with a cardiologist.