Assess Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Age and gender. The number of men affected by heart disease increases with age after age 45. Heart disease in women increases after age 55.
Smoker. Quitting smoking may be the most important step you can take to reduce your risk factors for heart disease.
Systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure is the first number of your blood pressure reading. For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120.
Blood pressure medicine. Medicines used to treat high blood pressure include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and direct renin inhibitors.
HDL cholesterol. HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is the “good” cholesterol because it helps prevent cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher your HDL, the better. An HDL of less than 40 mg/dL (in men) or less than 50 mg/dL (for women) is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Total cholesterol. Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease.
Check out your risk factors for heart disease with this interactive assessment.