Elderly woman smiling from lowered risk of heart disease

Heart Disease Risk Reduction

The good news is that healthy behaviors can lower your risk for heart disease.

Lower Your Chances of Having a Heart Attack by 80%1

Some researchers and doctors believe that men can lower heart attack risk by 4/5 by making five lifestyle changes. It’s just as important for women to reach these goals.

 

Lower your heart disease risk by:

3 percent graph

Get Moving

Make a commitment to be more physically active. Every day, aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as taking a brisk walk, raking, dancing, light weight lifting, house cleaning or gardening.

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Stay at a Healthy Weight

Staying at a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions. If you don’t know your ideal weight, ask your doctor.

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Eat for Heart Health

Follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish.

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Limit Alcohol

Experts recommend drinking fewer than two alcoholic drinks per day–and probably just one drink per day for women.

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Don’t Smoke

People who smoke are up to six times more likely to have a heart attack than non-smokers. If you smoke, it’s time to stop. 

smiley face in graph

All of the Above

It can be hard to tackle all of these at once. But it’s ideal to adopt all five of these healthy habits. It’s also a good idea to keep your stress in check and know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) and blood glucose. Working with your doctor is the best way to help your numbers be better.

Two Asian women smiling after discussion of heart disease risks

Talk to Your Doctor

Make sure you talk to your doctor, whether you’re feeling well or you think you might have concerning symptoms. Consider bringing our list of questions to your next appointment.

Download a discussion guide
Family smiling after open discussion of heart disease risks

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Find out with this simple tool.

Learn your risk

References

1. Agneta Åkesson, Susanna C. Larsson, Andrea Discacciati, Alicja Wolk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), online 22 September 2014, VOL. 64, NO. 13, 2014.