Family history may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, but it's not the only factor. Your cardiologist, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology, can help you determine if you have any common heart disease risk factors and offer treatments that will help you protect your heart health.
Common Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
Your chance of developing heart disease may increase if you have one or more of these risk factors:
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure): Hypertension is known as the silent killer because it only produces symptoms if your blood pressure is dangerously high. Unfortunately, damage can still occur if you don't have any symptoms. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke, kidney damage/failure, heart attack/failure, and vision loss.
- Family History: You may be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease if a relative has or had a heart attack, heart failure, heart condition or hypertension. Your cardiologist in Grand Rapids can help you make lifestyle changes that may decrease your risk and offer medication and other treatments.
- Your Age and Sex: Your risk of heart disease increases with age. Sex also plays a role. In fact, men and post-menopausal women are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep apnea occurs when you stop breathing for short periods multiple times throughout the night. In addition to affecting the quality of your sleep, sleep apnea may also cause or worsen heart disease.
- Smoking: Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke can also increase your risk. Quitting smoking is a simple way to improve your heart health.
- Poor Diet: Eating processed foods, particularly those high in salt, sugar, and saturated fat, may also affect your heart.
- Inactivity: Exercise strengthens your heart and helps it work more effectively. If you're a couch potato, you may be more likely to eventually develop heart disease.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Do you have any of these cardiovascular disease risk factors? Scheduling an appointment with your Grand Rapids, MI, heart doctor can help you improve your health and protect your heart. Call Dr. Ronald VanderLaan of Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment.