July 29, 2014
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Cholesterol


Am I at risk of heart disease?

Risk factors for heart disease include:

Things you can't change:

  • age and gender (women who are past menopause and men older than 55 years are at higher risk)
  • ethnicity (people of African, South Asian, and First Nations descent are at higher risk)
  • family history (people who have family members who have had strokes or heart attacks before age 60, have or have had angina, or are prone to developing high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at higher risk)

Things you can change or get treatment for:

  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • high levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, a protein the body makes when there is inflammation)
  • sedentary lifestyle (not enough exercise)
  • obesity or being overweight
  • smoking
  • consuming too much alcohol (more than 3 drinks per day or 15 drinks per week for men, and more than 2 drinks per day or 10 drinks per week for women)
  • stress
  • diabetes
  • metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors for heart disease that tend to be found together, including a large waist size, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar – if you have 3 or more of these risk factors, your doctor may diagnose you with the metabolic syndrome)

Concerned about your risk of heart disease? You can calculate your risk here, and talk to your doctor about what you can do to reduce your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease.

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