ARE YOU AT RISK?
Heart Disease Quiz: What’s Your Risk?
Whether you are at risk of having heart-related problems, have some heart health risk factors, or are in the clear, it’s important to learn more about the symptoms that go hand-in-hand with cardiovascular disease so you can steer clear of any complications and stay on the right track. People who have more than one specific risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) might be at much greater risk for CHD than people with no risk factors. Take the quiz below:
Do you have high blood pressure (hypertension)?
This condition strains the heart, and increases wear and tear on the blood vessels, making blockage more likely. Your heart ages as your blood pressure goes up. Having blood pressure below 120/80 lowers your heart age.
What is your race?
African Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to develop CHD. Research suggests African Americans may carry a gene that makes them more salt sensitive, increasing the risk of high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. While your racial and ethnic heritage may influence your heart disease risk, lifestyle habits play a bigger role.
Are you a man or a woman?
Men have a higher risk of CHD than women have. However, the risk of CHD in post-menopausal women (those who are in menopause or who have gone through menopause) increases and becomes similar to that of men.
What is your family history?
The genetic (inherited) make-up of some inpiduals increases their chances of developing CHD. But just because a family member had heart disease doesn’t mean you will. However, your risk of heart disease increases if your father or brother was diagnosed with it before age 55, or your mother or sister before age 65.
How old are you?
Your risk of heart disease rises after age 55, partly due to aging blood vessels and lifelong buildup of plaque in your arteries.
How much do you weigh?
Extra weight is hard on your heart muscle. To maintain a healthy weight, eat a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables., and try to exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes, five times per week.
Do you have high cholesterol?
This condition can contribute to the build-up of plaques that can clog the blood vessels leading to the heart, narrowing them and potentially blocking blood flow to the heart. The higher your cholesterol, the higher your heart age. Work with a doctor to manage cholesterol levels.
Do you smoke?
Cigarette smoking is the most important of the known changeable risk factors for CHD. Nicotine in cigarettes speeds up the heart and also narrows the arteries, making it harder for enough blood to get through. So stay away from tobacco — even secondhand smoke — to keep your heart healthy.
Do you have diabetes?
Having diabetes puts you at greater risk for heart problems. Your doctor can help you keep diabetes under control.
American Heart Association, Inc., "African Americans and Heart Disease, Stroke"
Cleveland Clinic, "Are You Young (or Old) at Heart?"
Cleveland Clinic, "Heart Disease Quiz: What’s Your Risk?"