The 90% Rule

The majority of risk factors that lead to a heart attack are those under your control and not secondary to inherited conditions. Minor changes in lifestyle make for large impacts in your health.

What You Can’t Control – The 10%

-Age (over 45 for men, over 55 for women)
-Gender (men are at higher risk than women until women reach menopause)
-Genetics (family history of a parent or sibling with premature heart disease; men < 55 years, women < 65 years)

What You Can Control- The 90%

Cholesterol levels: Get yours under control with diet, exercise and medication, if needed. Every 1% reduction in LDL (“bad” cholesterol) reduces your risk by 1%. Every 1% increase in HDL (“good” cholesterol) reduces risk 2-4%.

Smoking: Quit! Smoking one to five cigarettes a day increases the risk of heart attack by 38 percent, and 40 cigarettes a day by a whopping 900%! If you stop smoking, the risk decreases over time, and after three to five years, your risk is the same as a nonsmoker’s.

Stress: Identify and reduce sources of stress in your life, including depression, anger and anxiety.

Diabetes: Be screened! Twenty-nine million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and many don’t even know it. Risk of heart disease increases two to fourfold as a diabetic.
High blood pressure: Treat it! One in three adults in the U.S. has hypertension, and only one-third adequately control it. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, everyone over the age of 18 should be screened.

Obesity: Check your waist measurement, and get your weight under control with diet and exercise. In particular, abdominal obesity is a risk factor for heart attack- think Apple shape vs. pear-shape. Waist measurement is a better predictor of risk than overall weight. Fat around the belly can also lead to Metabolic Syndrome – a combination of hypertension, high blood sugar and cholesterol problems that can double your risk of heart disease. As a woman, a waist circumference of > 35 inches equates to a high risk of heart disease.

Diet: Emphasize more fruits and vegetables and less meat in your diet. A plant-based diet lowers your risk.

Exercise: Anything counts! Take a walk over your lunch break or go for a run. Take your dog for a stroll. Bottom line: Activity matters and a sedentary life is a killer.

Alcohol intake: Drinking three drinks a week is better than not drinking anything at all, but drinking too much increases your risk of both heart disease and cancer.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Challenges with Lactation?

Do you have concerns about lactation? It is normal to have worries and challenges as you navigate this journey with your baby. Find out what can cause lactation issues, and what can be done to help.

Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

In this crazy Coronavirus pandemic, maintaining our physical health, and managing increased stress and anxiety is so important.  Here are some tips to help you cope with increased stress and anxiety.

We Know You've Been Waiting!

Starting May 1st, we will begin phasing in more appointments. If you have an appointment after May 1st, you should keep it if you have a concern that needs attention. Our clinic will be fully operational for all types of appointments May 26th.

Are My Expired Medications Safe to Take?

You don't need to rush out to replace your expired prescription medications. They remain safe and effective. Your pharmacy is overwhelmed right now with the high demand for medications during the cough and flu season compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic.