The Six Most Dangerous Risk Factors For Heart Disease

Heart disease isn't as much of a mystery as it used to be, but did you know that there are certain factors that make the risk of an episode much more significant?

Cardiologists Robi Goswami and Raul Blanco from the Piedmont Heart Institute have shared some of the biggest red flags that they've seen in their years of experience.

1. History Of Heart Episodes

Someone that has dealt with or had multiple heart issues in the past is the most at risk for a reoccurrence. "The most significant risk factor is previous coronary artery disease, stent or heart attack,” shares Dr. Blanco. “Those people are at higher risk for heart events than people without coronary artery disease.”

2. Diabetes And Peripheral Artery Diseases

Dr. Goswami says that they consider some diseases equivalent to coronary artery disease due to the symptoms and effects. Diabetes, for example, can be a huge risk for heart disease. “Diabetes is the number one risk factor,” explains Dr. Blanco. “It always portends a bad outcome with heart, kidney or cerebral diseases/function.”

Besides diabetes, peripheral artery diseases can also lead to heart events because they can cause blockages in arteries of the limbs, abdomen, and neck.

3. Smoking

It's not much of a surprise anymore: smoking is bad for you! Not only does it increase the risk of lung cancer, it can also negatively impact your heart.

“If you currently smoke, you should quit,” says Dr. Goswami. “Doing so can drastically cut your risk for heart disease.”

4. Family History

People that say genetics don't count are wrong - patients that have a family history of heart disease have a significantly higher risk of experiencing it themselves.

5. High Cholesterol And Hypertension

Doctors issue frequent warnings about high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but which one is worse? According to Dr. Blanco, they're equally bad for you and are weighed equally by a cardiologist when examining the risk of heart disease.

6. Age

With age comes wisdom, but it also comes with a higher risk for heart disease as confirmed by Dr. Blanco.

Since aging is unavoidable, it's best to tackle some of the other risk factors that can be controllable and listen to the advice of your doctor.