Minimizing Your Chances of Coronary Heart Disease

Factors You Cannot Change

Risks for this disease are also affected by things you cannot change, such as age and family history of early heart disease.
For men, age becomes one of the risks for coronary heart disease at 45. For women, age becomes a risk factor at 55. After menopause, women are more apt to get coronary heart disease, in part because their body's production of estrogen drops.
Women who have gone through early menopause, either naturally or because they have had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. Another reason for the increasing risk is that middle age is a time when women tend to develop other risk factors for coronary heart disease.
Family History of Early Heart Disease
Family history of early heart disease is another risk factor that can't be changed. If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, or if your mother or sister had one before age 65, you are more likely to get coronary heart disease yourself.

Controlling Your Risk

While certain risks cannot be changed, it is important to realize that you do have control over many others. Regardless of your age, background, or health status, you can lower your risk of coronary heart disease; it doesn't have to be complicated. Protecting your heart can be as simple as taking a brisk walk, making a good vegetable soup, or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
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