Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, takes the lives of about 2,500 Americans each day. This killer disease is so prevalent that it’s responsible for 40 percent of all U.S. deaths, killing more people than all forms of cancer combined, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It can take on many forms ranging from coronary artery disease, the most common type, which involves a hardening of the arteries that provide oxygen and nutrients to your heart, to heart failure, heart muscle disease, heart valve failure and abnormal heart rhythms or arrythmias.
While heart disease is often serious, the good news is that you may have more control over your heart disease risk than not. In fact, while a family history or advancing age are known risk factors that you can’t control, there are multiple heart disease risk factors that are completely within your power to influence. These include:
- Not smoking
- Keeping your cholesterol levels in a healthy range
- Managing high blood pressure
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Controlling diabetes, if you have it
- Lowering C-reactive protein levels
- Controlling stress and anger