More than 25 percent of all deaths in the United States – about 600,000 people a year – are caused by or from complications of heart disease. The risk of being diagnosed increases as you age, with a much greater risk for males over age 45 and females over age 55. Males and females both also are at greater risk if someone in the family has had heart disease.
The most common heart problem is coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up in the coronary arteries. To lower your risk of heart disease, take this advice:
• Keep a regular check on your blood pressure.
• Quit smoking.
• Get tested for diabetes. If you already are diagnosed with diabetes, keep it under close control.
• Eat healthy, with an added amount of fruits and vegetables each day.
• Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise regularly. Try to work out at least three times a week.
• Limit alcohol use to less than two drinks daily.