Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

There are several risk factors for developing heart disease

Some of the risk factors can be modified through lifestyle changes and medical care, while other risk factors cannot be changed. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing heart disease.

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Heart disease risk factors

  • High cholesterol -- Cholesterol is a form of fat that is necessary for your body to function. Too much cholesterol circulating in your blood can clog your arteries and put you at risk for a stroke or heart attack. While there is “good cholesterol” (high density lipoprotein or HDL), and “bad cholesterol” (low density lipoprotein or LDL), your total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dL.
  • High blood pressure -- Also called hypertension, having high blood pressure puts stress on your arteries and can put you at risk for a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm or heart failure. The aim is to maintain healthy blood pressure readings of no higher than 120/80.
  • Diabetes -- Having diabetes makes you two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than an adult without diabetes.
  • Smoking -- Smoking greatly increases your risk for coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke, as well as cancer and chronic lung disease.
  • Obesity -- Obesity puts an added strain on your heart and increases your blood pressure while the additional fat and cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk for coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
  • Stress -- Stress causes your body to release hormones that can increase your blood pressure and can also trigger unhealthy responses such as overeating, smoking or drinking too much alcohol, all of which are bad for your heart.
  • Age -- People over the age of 55 are more likely to develop heart disease.
  • Family history of heart disease -- If your family has a history of heart disease, your risk for developing heart disease may be elevated.

Find out what can be done to minimize risk

Call now and we'll refer you to a heart specialist in your area: 800-727-4777

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“I can’t say enough about the doctors at Scripps... The echocardiogram team, all the nurses for every procedure I’ve had, everyone was wonderful.”

David Brush

Carmel Valley resident David Brush

“I can’t say enough about the doctors at Scripps... The echocardiogram team, all the nurses for every procedure I’ve had, everyone was wonderful.”

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The cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at Scripps:

  • Treat more heart care patients in San Diego than any other health care system
  • Offer exceptional quality care, often exceeding state averages in delivering evidence-based interventions
  • Provide care at more locations across San Diego including four STEMI receiving center emergency rooms and multiple urgent care centers that can recognize even the smallest symptoms of a heart attack
  • Use innovative research for the improvement of heart care including leading-edge studies for valve replacement and genomic testing for cholesterol-reducing drugs
  • Offer advanced treatment options including robotic-assisted surgery
  • Offer women with heart disease support and resources through the national WomenHeart program