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Risk factors for heart disease and stroke that you can control

In an effort to raise awareness we've complied a few tips and tricks including preventive measures you can take to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. 
Smoking.  Smoking cigarettes puts you at much greater risk for a heart attack and it’s the single greatest cause of preventable death in the United States.  Constant exposure to other people’s tobacco smoke also increases your risk, even if you don’t smoke.  If you don’t smoke, don’t start.  If you do smoke, quit!  No matter how long or how much you’ve smoked, your risk of heart attack drops when you stop smoking.

Physical Inactivity.  Nearly 38% of all women are sedentary.  The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week (which comes out to 30 minutes a day for five days) or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (or equivalent combination).  50% of Americans do not get the recommended amount of physical activity.  Regular physical activity helps reduce your risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

Unhealthy weight.  Over 67% of US adults are overweight or obese.  Obesity isn’t an appearance issue.  It’s a health issue.  Obesity is a major health problem for all Americans, including children.  If you’re obese or overweight, you have a much higher risk of developing heart disease.

Unhealthy Diet.  80% of Americans have a poor healthy diet score.  Read nutrition labels.  Limit your sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg/day.  Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  

High Blood Pressure.  One in three Americans has high blood pressure and many don’t even know it.  High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it has no symptoms.  So, have your blood pressure checked each time you visit your doctor.

High Cholesterol.  Know your numbers to know your risk.  A simple blood test can show if your blood cholesterol level is desirable, borderline-high, or high.

Diabetes.  Have your glucose levels checked regularly.  Diabetes can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke by two to four times.   

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