While 50% of cardiovascular disease is genetic, you can still lower your risk even if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease.
“You can greatly reduce a high genetic risk or greatly worsen a low genetic risk,” says Dr. Eugenia Gianos, director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York “Your fate lies largely in your hands.”
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a significant number of heart problems that killed about 415,000 Americans in 2016 were preventable.
“Many of these cardiovascular events are happening to middle-aged adults—who we wouldn’t normally consider to be at risk,” CDC principal deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat reports. “Most of these events can be prevented through daily actions to help lower risk and better manage medical conditions.”
Here are some simple ways to lower your risk of heart disease:
• Eat more vegetables
• Choose non-animal fats
• Avoid added sugar
• Don’t smoke
• Drink moderately or not at all
• Exercise moderately yet often
• Avoid prolonged sitting
• Watch your weight
• Find ways to manage stress
• Cultivate close relationships
By incorporating some of these practices into your daily life, you’ll feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. If you feel you’re at risk, a heart policy from your association and AMBA could save you and your family financial stress should you require specialized treatment not covered by Medicare.
CDC’s Million Hearts campaign aims to prevent one million heart attacks by 2022. By taking responsibility for your own health, you’ll increase your chances to be among them.