Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Cardiovascular risk factors are due to lifestyle choices, genetic disposition, and natural progression of life.  The higher the cholesterol level the greater the probability of cardiac problems and stroke.  Some risk factors for heart disease are unknown while others are uncommon or newly discovered, thus not widely known.  It is the uncommon and newly discovered symptoms that are most serious because if they are left untreated the arteries become more clogged ultimately leading to cardiac arrest.  Likewise, some contributing symptoms are unavoidable while others are completely avoidable.

Unavoidable characteristics leading to cardiac problems include age, sex (male or female), and heredity. On the other hand, smoking, poor choice in foods, lack of activity, and diabetes are all cardiovascular risk factors that can be changed.  People over the age of 65 are automatically in greater danger of having these problems regardless of past health.  In addition, certain ethnicities carry a higher possibility of such problems.  These include: African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians, native Hawaiians and some Asian Americans.  Careful evaluation of diet and exercise is crucial to overall wellness including cardiac health.  Based on height, weight, and resting pulse rate, a maximum heart rate can be established and strived for during exercise. This accelerated heart rate will strengthen the body’s cardiovascular system by increasing blood flow, thus lessening the chance of arterial wall build-up.  Time management techniques can help an individual to find time to make healthy meals, get an appropriate amount of exercise in, and lower stress levels in order to lower cholesterol levels thus lessening overall risk.  Evaluating responsibilities outside of a job can create a list of things to eliminate in life thus creating more time for relaxation and enjoyment in life.

Stress is a major contributor to many health problems across the board.  Successful management of stress will lower a person’s probability for health issues in later life.  Stress leads to overeating and poor lifestyle choices including smoking, drinking, and caffeine consumption.  With the elimination of these threats, a person can live a much more comfortable, healthy, and risk-free life.  Some doctors believe that moderate consumption of certain alcoholic beverages can be beneficial to prevention of this disease.  Children do not usually have drinking and smoking problem, but second hand smoke and alcohol induced behavior in adults around them can greatly affect their outcomes.

Obesity in children has become an epidemic in the United States, which contributes to risk factors for heart disease in adults as well as children.  Poor eating habits and inactivity are major causes of obesity, which are also major causes of cardiovascular problems. Whole household goals in reducing fat intake, reducing sugar intake, and incorporating more fruit and vegetables into the diet will create a more successful environment.  With an increasing morbidity rate in the United States, any factors, which may contribute to the onset of heart disease, should not be ignored.  In addition to the above mentioned causes, problems occur due to hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus.  Proper habits learned in childhood can eliminate the onset and aggression of cardiovascular disease.

The onset of other diseases can occur when the same symptoms occur.  These include hypertention, hyperinsulinemia, and homocysteinemia.  All of these diseases are related to elevation in one or more changeable levels in the body.  Understanding proper management and moderation of all activity will decrease risk factors for heart disease.  Tracking contributing habits and environments can be as simple as keeping a diary of all actions and food consumed for a three-day period.  This includes whether people smoked in the room and what other environmental factors were present.

Careful evaluation of medications either by prescription or over the counter should be evaluated as well.  Understanding all side effects of any medications either from medicines or herbal supplements should be discussed with a professional before prescription and consumption.  Even seemingly harmless herbs or supplements can create a platform for immediate or delayed problems.

Calculating personal Body Mass Index (BMI) offers a general measurement of visible cardiovascular risk factors.  This number is created by a calculation of weight and height resulting in a scientific calculation of whether a person is overweight or underweight.  Underweight individuals carry just as many risk factors for heart disease as overweight people, but lifestyle changes may not be as severe.  Making changes in order to reduce current risk factors for heart disease can be difficult, but should not be drastic.  It is important to remember that any change for the better is a step in the right direction.  For instance: Choose grilled instead of fried and sugar free instead of sugar coated.  In addition, an exercise plan can be established gradually over a long period of time.  The focus should be on any motion in a positive direction.  Likewise, rewards should be healthy alternatives, not trips to a fast food restaurant, candy, or a movie.  Choose more positive alternatives such as a trip to the beach, homemade fruit smoothies, or a trip to the bookstore.