Top Nine Risk Factors

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These risk factors are accelerants to the development of heart disease and stroke. Controlling these factors, which are mostly under your control, can add years and possibly decades to your life expectancy.

    Rank Risk Factor 
Risk Multiplier
        1. Lipid Ratio 3.87
        2. Diabetes 3.08
        3. Smoking 2.95
        4. Psychosocial Index 2.51
        5. Hypertension 2.48
        6. Obesity 2.24
        7. Lack of fruits & vegetables 1.42
        8. Lack of exercise 1.39
        9. Alcohol Consumption 1.26

1. Lipid ratio is the calculated value of your cholesterol numbers taking into account your total cholesterol divided by your HDL, the good cholesterol. This number improves with the lowering of your LDL (bad) cholesterol and Triglycerides. It also improves with the raising of your HDL (good) cholesterol.

2. Diabetes increases the likely hood of dying from heart disease dramatically. Diabetic’s life expectancy is reduced by approximately six years. Most diabetics die from complications of heart disease. Controlling blood sugars is extremely important for everyone.

3. Smoking. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t understand that smoking increases your risk for heart disease because it can deplete the body of protective antioxidants.

4. Psychosocial Index. This shows up in the form of depression, stress, anxiety and worry to name a few. These negative feeling causes your body to burn protective antioxidants at a rapid rate leaving your body unprotected. You may have heard the saying “laughter is the best medicine”. Well it is more than a saying. It causes your body to release healthy hormones into your system.

5. Hypertension. Most people know this as high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts added stress on your cardiovascular system. It could very well be a sign of blockages developing that can restrict blood flow. It would be like putting your thumb over the end of your garden hose to increase the pressure.

6. Obesity is an increasingly growing problem. Obesity put additional strain on your cardiovascular system making it work harder. Generally it’s because of poor food choices. Cutting down on foods high in sugar or fats will help anyone lose weight.

7. Lack of fruits & vegetables. The American diet is sadly lacking in enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains. A wide variety of these foods are required daily for your body to constantly repair its self. If you ate enough of these foods you would find it difficult to be over weight as they are very filling and low in calories.

8. Lack of exercise is a big problem in the United States as we work behind desks and drive wherever we go. The truth is that we only need moderate exercise 4-5 times a week to improve our health. Walking is an inexpensive, low impact exercise most anyone can do.

9. Alcohol Consumption of more than two drinks per day becomes a negative health issue. Too much alcohol affects the liver, a critical
organ in the cleansing of old cholesterol.


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