Be Heart Smart
Last Updated December 9, 2021
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease.
Assess Your Risk
Everyone is at risk for heart disease, but your risk is higher if:
- You have high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- You smoke
- You are overweight or obese
- You don’t get enough physical activity
- You don’t eat a healthy diet
Your age and family history also affect your risk for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:
- You are a woman over age 55
- You are a man over age 45
- Your father or brother had heart disease before age 55
- Your mother or sister had heart disease before age 65
Lower Your Risk
Heart disease can often be prevented and controlled by making healthy choices and managing health conditions. To lower your risk:
- Watch your weight.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get active and eat healthy.