Scientists have identified key risk factors that increase a person’s chance of experiencing heart disease or a heart attack over their lifetime. It’s never too early to start looking after your heart, and now there’s a tool to start checking in on your own risk factors. Doctors recommend tracking begin at age 20, so check out this tool.
If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, there are steps you can take to lower your risk for heart disease.
- Have your cholesterol checked. Your health care provider should test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years. Talk with your doctor about this simple blood test.
- Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.
- Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, closely monitor your blood sugar levels. Talk with your health care provider about treatment options.
- Take your medicine. If you’re taking medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something.
- Talk with your health care provider. You and your doctor can work together to prevent or treat the medical conditions that lead to heart disease. Discuss your treatment plan regularly and bring a list of questions to your appointments.